The race for Kajiado North seat
With only a few days to go, the much awaited September 17th is here. It will be the day of reckoning as the people of Kajiado North make a statement on who will step into the shoes of the late Internal Security minister George Saitoti as their MP. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the seat was declared vacant by House Speaker Kenneth Marende.
Some of the candidates who had announced they will be in the ballot have either fallen on the way or were bought off. The campaign rallies were grueling for the financially weak. The people of Kajiado have already made their minds on who to vote for. In the race are 10 candidates. Peter Salaon Kashorda (UDF), Peter Mositet (ODM), Solomon Kinyanjui (WDP), Peter Munene Munyu (KNC), Moses ole Sakuda (TNA), Ruth Enkeseni (CP), Antony Keen (PNU), Livingstone Sane (AGANO), Paul Gishinga (KANU) and Andrew Nangurai of Restore and Build party of Kenya (RBK) are vying for the seat.
Each of these aspirants has spoken to the electorate. They made their pledges on issues they are going to handle once elected. The campaigns have been peaceful. No violence has been reported so far. The onus is now on the people to vote for a leader of their choice. The ODM went out of its way to discredit TNA on the last stretch of their campaigns in Isinya and Kitengela. Prime Minister Raila Odinga called Sakuda names but the later didn't take it lying down.
When Raila equated Sakuda to a drowned housefly in a pot of milk, Sakuda termed the PM an "unreliable" leader who forsook him at the time of need. Sakuda was referring to the case he took to the High Court to contest Saitoti's victory in the last general election. Sakuda claimed Odinga went underground with the pledges he had made to him. "He promised me a job and I took a whole year chasing him to no avail. It was President Mwai Kibaki who gave me a job and I had to sell property to to pay my lawyers. So what kind of a leader is Odinga," said Sakuda.
Cabinet minister William ole Ntimama referred to those who defected to TNA as "traitors". Ntimama claimed those rushing to TNA are out to sell Maasai land to foreigners and urged the people not to vote for Sakuda. Josiah Tarayia Kores told Ntimama to mind his business in Narok and not bite more than he can chew.
What are the real issues in this race? What is key in this race is the political party one is in. It is a cut-throat race pitting two horses against eight donkeys. It is a fact that this race is not about Sakuda or Mositet but a marathon between PM Raila and DPM Uhuru. It is a race between TNA and ODM.
Analysing the popularity of the two candidates, Sakuda and Mositet, one will not be wrong to say that Sakuda is a refined public speaker, a go-getter, open and will tell you off if you stand in his way. Mositet, all the way to this by-election, has been pulling his legs and depending largely on ODM's Reloaded Team to market him. Mositet was recently cornered by youth in Kitengela and asked to give them money.
He pleaded with the youth to spare his life and promised to send them money the following day but his plea fell on deaf ears. The youth ransacked his pockets but found no money as he attempted to run away. Later, the youth, who numbered about 100, told him to forget his bid for the Kajiado North parliamentary seat.
Mositet's aide, James Saire was busy trying to call Mositet's driver who had already arrived in Nairobi. Chances are that Sakuda will win in Ngong, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai, Oloodokilani and in Keekonyokie. The Kitengela votes will be shared equally between Sakuda and Mositet while the latter is likely to win in the Kaputiei area.
The Kinyanjui/ Kashorda factor may also eat into Sakuda's Kikuyu votes on Route 126 (Ongata Rongai, Matasyia, Kiserian and Ngong) but pundits still believe the TNA factor stands tall in this region. In Ongata Rongai, there are more than 9,000 Kikuyu voters while the others (Kamba, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kisii) are slightly more than 3,000 in number. In total, there are 35,000 Maasai voters in Kajiado North constituency while the Kikuyu, Kisii, kalenjins, Luhya constitute about 65,000 votes.
Simple mathematics indicate that even if Sakuda will equally share the Maasai votes with Mositet, the chunk of the Kikuyu votes will go to the TNA candidate. It is a fact that the Luo and Kisii are likely to vote for Mositet but their number is small and may not make much difference. Whoever wins this seat is likely to retain it in next year's general election. Let the people decide.