Lenku, Nkedianye fight for Azimio blessing in Kajiado

Lenku says he is the most popular aspirant, not Nkedianye of ODM.

In Summary

•Governor Lenku of Jubilee says he is the most popular candidate to carry the Azimio flag in the race for governor in August.

• Nkedianyes aid talks between him and Lenku can only be about him (Lenku) dropping out of the race.

Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku and former Governor David Nkedianye have disagreed on which of them should be the Azimio La Umoja candidate for Kajiado governor race in August.

Lenku of the Jubilee Party maintains he is the most popular aspirant, while Nkedianye of ODM says his successor will not retain the seat.

Nkedianye has maintained a hardline stance, demanding that any talks to agree on one candidate must be about Lenku dropping out of the race.

Lenku beat unseated Nkedienye in 2017 but the former governor is now plotting a comeback. He is uncomfortable with a proposal that aspirants in parties affiliated to the Azimio la Umoja coalition be subjected to a nomination contest.

Nkedianye has consistently told his followers he will be on the ballot.

He wants Lenku to contest for a position other than that of the governor, adding he will not yield to demands by Jubilee and ODM to step down for the sitting governor.

Insiders in Jubilee and ODM have reportedly claimed a deal has already been sealed whereby Jubilee will provide a candidate for governor while ODM will provide a candidate for Senate and woman rep seats in Kajiado.

Lenku, on the other hand, is opposed to Nkedianye’s insistence that Azimio parties should field candidates separately.

Nkedianye told the Star on Friday that if Lenku is forced on the Kajiado people, the governor will lose.

“They will be making a terrible mistake if they edge me out on this because whoever they are fronting will be beaten hands-down,” Nkedienye said.

While responding to Nkedianye’s remarks, Lenku, who spent two days in campaigns in the Magadi region until Friday, said Raila Odinga’s presidential campaign supersedes the unbridled ambitions of an individual.

He added, “We shall not be derailed from the Azimio unity as we have formidable opposition from United Democratic Alliance, and that is where the battle is.”

Former Olkejuado county Ccouncil chairman Tarayia ole Kores told the Star on Saturday that whatever the leadership of ODM and Jubilee in the Azimio will decide on the governorship ticket is final.

Kores, a former ally of Nkedianye, appears to have left the former governor in the cold as he appears to support governor Lenku.

The governor race has attracted several people, among them - Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito, and former National Transport and Safety Authority boss, Francis Meja.

Metito, Meja, and Tobiko are all in UDA and will be picking their flag bearer in April ahead of the August 9 general elections.

Kajiado has a large number of Jubilee party followers who have joined hands to back Lenku and UDA has also moved on with quite a chunk of Jubilee followers after DP William Ruto ditched the ruling party.

Lenku is no longer afraid of Nkedianye in the coming elections and recognises that UDA may be a formidable party to beat in the coming elections.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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