NEGOTIATED DEMOCRACY

Garissa clans mull alliance to share top county seats

Awlihan and Samawadhal clans alliance to back Jama for governor and Haji for senator

In Summary
  • On Sunday, elders from the two communities led by Ugas Hassan Shurie [Samawadhal] and Hamud Sheikh [Awlihan] held a meeting at a Garissa hotel.
  • They also discussed the deputy governor position which is to be filled by a person from the Samawadhal clan.
Former Garissa governor Nathif Jama shares a word with the Samawadhal community Ugaas Hassan Shurie at a Garissa hotel on Sunday, March 27.
NEGOTIATED DEMOCRACY: Former Garissa governor Nathif Jama shares a word with the Samawadhal community Ugaas Hassan Shurie at a Garissa hotel on Sunday, March 27.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

A coalition of the Awlihan and Samawadhal clans of Garissa is in the works.

Reliable sources told the Star the two clans are working on the finer details and will soon make a formal announcement.

Recently while campaigning in Masalani town, former Garissa governor Nathif Jama who hails from the Awlihan clan hinted at forming an alliance with the Sawadhal.

His sentiments were echoed by Garissa Senator Abdul Haji during the inauguration of Bodhai subcounty two weeks ago, attended by Jama.

Last week, the Azimio team led by Jama and a host of leaders held a meeting in Dadaab subcounty in which Haji who hails from the Samawadhal clan was also in attendance.

On Sunday, elders from the two communities led by Ugas Hassan Shurie [Samawadhal] and Hamud Sheikh [Awlihan] held a meeting at a Garissa hotel.

Ugaas Hassan Shurie of the Samawadhal clan speaking during a meeting that brought together elders from the Awlihan and the Samawadhal at a Garissa hotel on Sunday, March 27.
ALLIANCE: Ugaas Hassan Shurie of the Samawadhal clan speaking during a meeting that brought together elders from the Awlihan and the Samawadhal at a Garissa hotel on Sunday, March 27.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

A source who attended the meeting said they discussed how the two clans can strike a working formula that will consolidate their voting bloc so that they win by a big margin.

Also discussed was the deputy governor position which is to be filled by a person from the Samawadhal clan.

“It is obvious that we will be supporting Jama for governor and Haji for senator. The deputy governor position is yet to be filled while the woman representative position is free for all," the source said.

Local analysts say the choice of a running mate will have an impact on the election outcome.

The county is inhabited by three major clans namely the Awlihan, Samawadhal and the Awdhaq.

Since devolution, the three communities have been teaming up to balance clan equations and win available seats in the county.

The Senate and deputy governor seats have been going to the Samawadhal.

Sultan Hamud Sheikh of the Awlihan clan speaking during a meeting that brought together elders from the Awlihan and Samawadhal clans at a Garissa hotel on Sunday, March 27..
STRONG VOTE BLOC: Sultan Hamud Sheikh of the Awlihan clan speaking during a meeting that brought together elders from the Awlihan and Samawadhal clans at a Garissa hotel on Sunday, March 27..
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

IEBC data shows that Ijara constituency which is largely inhabited by the Samawadhal has 30,000 registered voters.

In 2017, the Samawadhal entered into a pact with Awdhaq under the Tolomoge alliance. They then shared elective seats on the Jubilee Party ticket.

The Awdhaq took governor, woman representative and Garissa Township MP positions while Samawadhal had deputy governor and Senate positions.

Others in the race are incumbent Ali Korane and Dekhow Mohamed who all hail from the Awdhaq clan.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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