Clannism takes centre stage in Narok Senate bid

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022 08:30 | By
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina.

Hardly five months to the General Election, the contest for Narok County senator’s seat promises to be a tough one, with clan competition likely to be a key factor.

The battle is also likely to boil down to flexing financial muscle between outgoing governor Samuel Tunai and Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchella.

Tunai from the minority Siria clan, will be facing off with the incumbent Ledama ole Kina (Ildamat), Konchella (Uasin Gishu), Maasai land rights activist Meitamei Ololdapash (Purko) and Nairobi-based publisher Andrew ole Sunkuli (Moitanik).

Others eyeing the seat are Julius Kuiyoni, a journalist who worked with a vernacular radio station Maiyan FM, a former Narok county employee Salaton ole Tompo and a representative of Persons Living with Disability (PLWD) Jimmy Luka all who hail from the populous Purko clan.

 However, the optics in the race will be felt among the first five candidates because of their past political history. For governor Tunai who will seek the position through the Kenya Kwanza banner has lately been seen traversing the county projecting himself as a unifier of communities in the cosmopolitan sub-national.

He has on different occasions during his county development tours urged residents to elect credible leaders with sound development track record and not based on clannism, age sets or where they come from.

“People in Narok which is a cosmopolitan county would need a leader who will unite them, roll out development projects and advocate for their rights besides conserving our rich heritage as a people.

“It is important that voters interrogate leaders and hold them to account for the time they have been in public service while new entrants should lay out their contribution towards changing the standards of living for the people, but not which clan or tribe does a leader come from,” said Tunai.

Narok Town MCA Bernard ole Torome says, Tunai is a force to reckon with as he controls a sizeable number of the Maa community and for the last 10 years while in service his political battlefront shifted to wooing members of the other communities in the county.

“Not only in the senatorial race but in the governor race too, the Kipsigis, a Kalenjin sub-tribe are the second most populous tribe in the county after Maasai with close to 100,000 votes and are expected to provide the swing vote in the election,” said Torome.

Members of the Kisii and Kikuyu communities are among those doing business in Narok town and are also being sought after by the candidates as they command a sizable 40,000 votes.

For Konchella who would be in the race through opposition leader Raila Odinga Azimio La Umoja, says he has what it takes to clinch the senator’s seat and a considerable wealth of experience in leadership having been Kilgoris MP for over 15 years.

But it is not yet clear who will be the flag bearer of the Azimio side as Konchella, Ole Kina and Dapash are yet to fight out at the party primaries. Ole Kina who has served in the senate for one term argues he deserves another chance to continue fighting for allocation of more resources to the county so that it becomes Maa nation’s economic hub.

“Divisive politics and clan rivalries have been an obstacle to development in Maasai land and the Constitution gives the community a chance to unite and push for a sound development agenda, Narok needs a leadership that will lead from the front and teach our people how to make wealth from what they have,” said Ole Kina, a strong ally of ODM leader Odinga.

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