A section of Mandera County leaders have asked the Jubilee Party leadership to respect their decision made through the use of negotiated democracy in selecting candidates to vie for various seats in the coming elections.
They threatened to decamp to other parties if their decision is not honoured.
It is understood that last week, the leaders went to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House agitating for the team chosen to get direct nomination.
However, President Kenyatta, the party’s leader, turned down their request maintaining that a competitive process will be used to determine the candidates to be chosen.
Led by Senator Billow Kerrow, governorship nominee Hassan Noor Hassan, his deputy Abass Maalim and senate nominee Hassan Osman, the leaders cautioned the President and his Deputy William Ruto against taking them for granted, reminding them that the county voted for them overwhelmingly in the 2013 elections.
“As supporters of the Garre Council of Elders, we cannot allow ourselves to be disrespected. Let the president and his deputy [not] be cheated by those peddling lies that they have the support of the people of Mandera,” Mr Kerrow said while speaking to journalists at Sir Ali Muslim Club in Ngara, Nairobi.
Boasting that the county has over 170,000 votes, Mr Kerrow said that only Governor Ali Roba and two other leaders are indifferent to negotiated democracy.
“Those who are opposed to the elders are only three leaders led by the governor. The others are with the verdict. They cannot bring even 10 per cent of votes. Ninety per cent of votes are in the hands of the elders,” he observed.
Further, the senator accused Mr William Ruto of interfering with Mandera politics and that his decision to endorse Mr Roba for re-election was against the council of elders’ choice.
Hence, he said the DP should keep off if he wants the residents to vote for the President.
On January 16, Governor Roba annulled the elders’ decision barring him from seeking a second stab at the post.
Additionally, the legislator claimed that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) is enthralled in spreading propaganda instead of looking out for the safety of Kenyans.
“The work of NIS is not to spread propaganda. NIS in Mandera is involved in writing propaganda claiming that Ali Roba has 70 per cent of elders’ support. The president should know that he has no intelligence,” he said.
Garre Council of Elders chairman Haji Ali said that after having a consultative forum with the members, they had reached an agreement to endorse a team that comprises the next office-bearers.
“We as Garre Council of Elders give the Jubilee government a one-week ultimatum to respect our line-up or we vote against it in the August elections,” Mr Ali said.
Similarly, Mr Hassan (the governor hopeful) said the elders are the deciding factor and that Jubilee leadership should be wise to adhere to the ultimatum.
He argued that negotiated democracy is not a new concept in Kenya.
Mr Hassan added that Mandera locals do not ascribe to any political party, only to what the elders advise.
“Before Jubilee there were other parties like Narc. So party is not the issue. We are not tied to the party and our 98 per cent cannot be taken for granted,” he warned.