Inside Politics

Prominent political families lock horns in Narok contests

Monday, March 7th, 2022 00:42 | By

As the August 9 General Election draws close, the contests are shaping up as a battle of political titans in Narok county where three prominent families are ganging up against each others’ choices.

The families battling to control the affairs in the vast county are the Ntutus and the Tunais on one hand against the Sunkulis, the Konchellahs and Ntimamas on the other side.

Kindred of the late Paramount Chief Lerionka ole Ntutu has surprised many by closing ranks with Governor Samuel Tunai despite politically parting ways for a number of years.

Tunai and Ntutu families are now fronting one candidate, Patrick ole Ntutu, to replace the outgoing governor, Samuel Tunai.

Fiery Kimintet Ward MCA Kuya Kijape, who is governor Tunai’s uncle, Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ngeno, who is married to a daughter of the Ntutus, and former  Senator Stephen ole Ntutu, are the deal-makers in the scheme.

In their line-up, Patrick Ntutu will be governor candidate while Governor Tunai will run for the senate. The two families and Ng’eno have been conducting joint campaigns, the latest being on Friday where Tunai endorsed Ntutu, the former Labour Chief Administrative Secretary, to replace him.

Tunai project

The move has ignited a response from three other prominent families in Narok: The late William ole Ntimama’s, the Sunkulis and Konchellahs in Trans Mara who, despite fielding candidates in different positions, have united behind Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta’s bid for governor. Kenta will use the Azimio La Umoja movement vehicle in the race.

During an Azimio La Umoja rally in Nairkarra village in Narok West on Saturday, Kenta, Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchella and Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Charles ole Sunkuli vowed to block Ntutu from winning the seat arguing he was a project of Tunai and his allies.

Kenta accused Tunai of pushing for election of his foe-turned-ally to make sure he protects his interests when he leaves office.

“You are trying to bring a person of your choice in the name of Ntutu to protect your interests,” said Kenta.

Kenta further said they had a plan to deny Tunai the senate seat. They are backing Konchella, who is not seeking re-election in Kilgoris. He is serving a fourth term.

“If I take office, I will make sure all the resources lost in Narok County during Tunai’s reign are returned. But if Ntutu takes over he will protect him,” he added.

But at a different rally in Narok East, Tunai accused Kenta of dividing residents along ethnic lines.

Tunai said leadership is a calling to lead without considering where the people come from or which ethnic community they belong.

“If I say Ntutu is the one who will be governor after me, I know he already has a blueprint of what he will do but more importantly, he will unite everybody and promote cohesion and peace,” said Tunai.

Risky gamble

The Ntutus produced the first Narok Senator Stephen Ntutu.

In the 2017 General Election CAS Ntutu ran against incumbent Tunai and came second. He is making his second attempt using  Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance.

Tunai called on residents not to gamble with their lives and vowed he will do all it takes to block Kenta from succeeding him.

But PS Sunkuli, who dropped out in favour of Kenta, accused Tunai of being among the most underperforming governors and asked him to stop “imposing” Ntutu on the people.

“Narok is among the most underdeveloped counties in Kenya. Tunai failed to achieve what he was elected to do, including  uniting all communities in the county,” said Sunkuli.

He also called on the Director of Criminal Investigations to probe the governor’s claims that Kenta is a tribalist, arguing it was a way of creating tensions among communities.

The Ntimama heirs too have been trying to enter active politics and will also be in the 2022 ballot under the Azimio La Umoja movement. They are against the election of Ntutu as governor.

Lydia Naneu Ntimama, the daughter of former Cabinet minister and Maasai kingpin Ntimama, has unsuccessfully vied twice for Woman Rep position and has already declared that she is running for the same position in August.

Her brother, Tempes Ntimama, has also declared interest in the Narok North seat, previously held by his father.

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