Galole MP Hassan Abdi Dukicha is facing a tough contest in bid to retain his seat in the August 8 polls.
Mr Dukicha, popularly known as Gorfo Kayo, which means a blessed guard of milk, defeated seven other candidates in 2013 after garnering 6,030 votes.
Former MP Dhadho Godhana was second with 5,527 votes.
But the political dynamics in the region have completely changed and should the situation remain the same, the MP faces a daunting task to retain his seat.
Tribal and clan realignments have emerged as the major factors likely to influence the outcome of the polls.
Galole is home to nearly 20,000 Pokomo community voters against Mr Dukicha’s Orma community, which commands less than 10,000 votes.
It is on this basis that local pundits argue the MP will have a tall order.
“Should the Pokomo not back one candidate, Mr Dukicha’s re-election remains alive. In case one is picked, he will need a miracle to retain the seat,” said a local administrator.
Late last year, Pokomo Council of Elders, drawn from the five clans of Gwano, Ndura, Milalulu, Zubaki and Kinakomba, held a consultative meeting in Majengo village.
In the meeting, Gwano and Kinakomba elders requested that aspirants from their clans be considered, since their areas had not produced a legislator since independence.
It was eventually agreed that Kinakomba clan vet its five aspirants and come up with a strong one to face Mr Dukicha.
The process was conducted with Mr Said Buya Hiribae emerging victorious after defeating his four opponents.
Mr Hiribae, popularly known as ‘Said Posta’ who emerged third in the last elections with 3,183 votes, worked with Mr Dukicha at the defunct Telkom Kenya and retired 10 years ago.
Only one candidate, Mr Bwanaidi Abdallah Aziz, has rejected the outcome of the elders’ vetting and vowed to contest in the elections.
In an interview with the Saturday Nation, Mr Hiribae said he had already received blessing from all elders in the county to contest the seat.
“In 2013, we were six aspirants against one. This time, we agreed to front one candidate and luckily, I carried the day when we were subjected to the nominations. Elders will soon take me around the constituency to introduce me to the electorate,” added Mr Hiribae of Ford Kenya.
He said regardless of tribal and clan-based politics, he will play a crucial role of a peace-maker, uniting members of his community and their Orma, Wardey and Somali neighbours.
“As leaders we have a cardinal responsibility to bring our people together so that we can develop our county,” said the soft-spoken politician.
Mr Hiribae said he is best placed to revitalise Hola Irrigation Scheme and improve performances in local schools due to vast international connection.
“I have already contributed towards development of education through a non-governmental organisation I had established to serve Galole people. We have developed local schools infrastructure and I expect to do more if elected.”
Mr Dukicha is adamant that he has a political future and warned Mr Hiribae to brace for a titanic battle in August polls.
“This is not the first time I was dismissed as inconsequential in the race for Galole seat. I am firm in the race until the last day,” he argued recently.
His bid this time has been complicated with the entry of Mr Ahmed Shurie, a Wardey, which supported him in 2013 elections but this time, they are likely to vote as a block for Mr Shurie.
With five months left before polls, it will be very interesting to see how the flamboyant Galole MP will retain his seat.