Rivalry over seats leaves Nasa allies walking tightrope

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) is staring at the prospect of a fragmented vote for the senatorial and woman representative positions in the August 8 General Election.

This is after Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka asked his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) partners not to “grab” all elective posts in Kajiado County.

Mr Musyoka made the remarks on June 20 when the coalition principals had a rally in Kitengela.

“While we agreed that we shall elect Governor (David) Nkedianye of ODM, I also have my line-up of candidates for the various elective positions in Kajiado,” Mr Musyoka said at the tail-end of his speech.

READ: Supremacy war in Nasa over Kajiado woman rep seat

CANDIDATES
The Wiper party leader then proceeded to parade the Wiper candidates in front of the crowd, insisting that they also be considered for votes as Nasa candidates.

For the woman rep seat, ODM has lined up Ms Esther Somoire while Wiper has Simayiai Rakita.

For the senate position, ODM’s Daniel Tinaai will endure friendly fire from Mr Jason Parantai of Wiper.

The same situation prevails in Kajiado East and Kajiado North constituencies.

In Kajiado East, Mr Kakuta Maimai of ODM will face off with Wiper’s David Parseina.

In Kajiado North, Mr George Mocheche (ODM) will square it out with Mr Peter ole Musei of Wiper.

HOT SEATS
The internal rivalry within the coalition has been a source of friction between the candidates, especially when they accompany Dr Nkedianye in his campaigns within the county.

The bickering has been especially vicious for the positions of Senator and Woman Rep.

This came out openly at the Madaraka Day celebrations held in Kitengela.

During the occasion, Ms Simayiai talked of a pact, in which Nasa would back Dr Nkedianye for governor but support Wiper for the positions of woman rep and senator.

WRANGLE IN RALLIES

She further alleged that ODM was alienating Wiper “as if they did not want votes from Wiper supporters”.

The two senate candidates, too, were at each other’s throats when they accompanied the governor for a meeting in Erankau, Kajiado East.

There, Mr Tinaai of ODM appealed to Wiper’s Parantai not to “spoil” for him, arguing that if Nasa got into power “we would not lack a place to fix him”.

The other altercation over the woman rep seat manifested at Ngatataek, Kajiado Central.
NEGOTIATE
In most scenarios, Dr Nkedianye steers clear of the controversies, probably not keen to be seen as taking sides among coalition candidates.

However, when asked to comment on the matter during the Erankau meeting, the governor talked of negotiations to have one of the candidates step down for the other.

“However, if negotiations fail, let them face each other at the ballot box as democracy dictates,” he said.

SPLIT VOTES

Mr Musyoka’s comments appeared to somehow back what Ms Simayiai had been saying.

He also effectively closed the door on any form of negotiations to field a single candidate against the ruling Jubilee Party, raising the prospect of Nasa candidates splitting votes to favour Jubilee candidates.

It would appear that the governor heeded Mr Musyoka’s request as he no longer goes on campaign missions with candidates from the two parties at the same time.

“Nowadays he either goes with Wiper candidates only or their ODM counterparts,” a source in the governor’s camp said.

This tactic, he said, avoids a situation where the candidates bicker in public, thus sending out messages of confusion in the coalition.

UPSTAGED
However, of the two sets of candidates it is Mr Tinaai who appears to have support across the board.

Mr Parantai is seen to be a Johnny-come-lately who does not have enough clout to move the masses.

The woman rep contest, on the other hand, is not that clear-cut; the two women appear to balance out one another.

While the youthful Ms Simayiai has the support of the youth, Ms Somoire has the backing of older people, with a support base that appears to cut across both coalitions.

The Jubilee candidates include Mr Philip Mpaayei for senator, Ms Janet Teiyaa for woman rep, Ms Peris Tobiko for Kajiado East MP and Mr Joseph Manje for Kajiado North MP.

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