Uhuru doles out State jobs in battle for Maasai votes

The appointment of Joseph Nkadayo to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority is the latest signal by President Uhuru Kenyatta that he is determined to pull votes from Maa speaking communities into his column.

President Kenyatta and his main challenger National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga are in an all out battle to win the heart and soul of the Maa people from three key counties, Kajiado, Narok and Samburu.

Mr Nkadayo, who previously headed the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, hails from Entonet/Lenkisim in Kajiado South.

SUPPORT OLE LENKU

Jubilee governorship candidate Joseph ole Lenku also hails from the same place.

Jubilee Party insiders now hope that the appointment of Mr Nkadayo would endear the people of Kajiado South to the party and to Mr Ole Lenku.

Despite Mr Lenku, the former Security Cabinet secretary, hailing from Kajiado South, he will have to sweat it out to neutralise the influence of Governor David Nkedianye, who has laid siege on the area.

KORES DECAMPS
Due to the many development projects he has initiated in the area, the ODM governor is somewhat viewed favourably, coupled with the fact that his deputy, Mr Paul Ntiati, also hails from that area.

The other notable appointment is that of Mr Ntoros Baari ole Senteu, who recently replaced Mr Taraiya ole Kores as chairman of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

Mr Ole Kores ditched Jubilee for Nasa after he lost the Kajiado gubernatorial contest for Jubilee ticket to Mr Ole Lenku.

NKAISSERY CAMPAIGNS
Mr Ole Senteu’s appointment will hopefully shore up Jubilee Party’s fortunes in Narok County, where Mr Odinga is determined to maintain the lead he got in the 2013 elections.

It is an ill-kept secret that professionals appointed into various positions of government are using their clout among the people where they come from to convince them to support Jubilee in the August 8 General Election.

The ‘campaigner-in-chief’ among appointed civil servants has been Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery, who has been unapologetic in marshalling support for Jubilee Party, among his Maasai people and across the country.

STATE APPOINTEES
His stock response has been that, as appointed agents of the party, they are only pointing out the achievements of the party to the electorate.

When he was given the microphone to introduce President Kenyatta at Ilbisil on July 5, CS Nkaissery pointed out the appointment of three Principal Secretaries: Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe from Samburu, Charles Sunkuli, the Environment PS from Transmara and Defence PS Saitoti Ole Torome from Narok.

“We also have a number of parastatal chairmen, including Nkadayo and Ole Nkeri (managing director Portland Cement).

“All these appointments point to the fact that the president loves the Maasai community,” Maj Gen (rtd) Nkaissery said.

INJUSTICES
While the president has been using appointments into government as leverage to get support from the Maasai, Mr Odinga has been preaching the gospel of land ownership and the implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report, to endear himself to the Maasai.

He contends that no other community in Kenya has suffered historical injustices by successive governments since colonial times, like the Maasai.

DEBTS
In his Kajiado tour, the president appeared to counter this when he announced that the government was writing off debts owed by livestock farmers to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).

“With this waiver, the Maasai people will not be forced to sell their land to offset these loans,” the president, who also ordered banks that are holding titles of such farmers to surrender them to the owners, said.

RESULTS

In the 2013 elections, Mr Kenyatta garnered 22,085 (41 per cent) votes in Samburu County against Mr Odinga’s 31,086 (58 per cent).

He again lost to Mr Odinga in Narok getting 109,413 (46 per cent) against Mr Odinga’s 118,623 (50 per cent).

He however beat Mr Odinga in Kajiado County getting 52 per cent of the votes (138,851 votes) against Mr Odinga’s 44 per cent (117,856 votes).

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