The Star (Nairobi)

2 February 2013

Kenya: Woman Aspirant Beats Men to Carry TNA Flag in Kajiado East

During the recent party primaries, several aspirants in Narok county fell on the wayside as others emerged winners and clinched nomination certificates. What was interesting was the competition in TNA where the only woman, Peris Tobiko, in Kajiado East beat all the men to clinch the ticket.

There were dissenting voices among the losers over her win as others claimed she could have rigged the nominations. But Tobiko said her win came about as a result of hard work. She was pitted against Julius Ntayia, William Kirrinkai, Josephat Nasoore, David Sankori and Rhonest Ntayia.

All the men were beaten hands down despite ganging up against her in a smear campaign to have her rejected by voters. She garnered 5,328 votes while her closest opponent, William Kirrinkai, got 3,233. Julius Ntayia was third with 2,164 votes. The last one, Rhonest, received 301 votes.

Tobiko will now have to contest for the seat with Kakuta Maimai of ODM. Maimai, who has been her erstwhile opponent for the period she was in ODM considers her a weak candidate.

The two have exchanged words in public during their campaigns. At one time, Tobiko told Maimai that he was unfit to contest for a parliamentary seat because his development projects are skewed in favour of Merueshi area.

Maimai has spent more than Sh70 million in construction of 32 dams and building of Merueshi Primary and Secondary schools. Tobiko said Maimai should have sought the seat of the area's village elder instead of seeking for a parliamentary seat.

Maimai, a young politician, who has been nicknamed Obama because of his American-English accent took Tobiko's sentiments lightly. He simply said charity begins at home. Maimai asked Tobiko to account for her time at the helm of Tanathi Water Services Board claiming that she brought it down.

He argued that her appointment to the water services board never added any value to the Maasai community. "How can she claim she wants to be MP yet she has no track record? She messed up Tanathi and she is here convincing the people that she can be a leader," Maimai was quoted in the local media as saying.

It will be an interesting contest in Kajiado East constituency, according to local political analysts. There are claims that most of those who lost to Tobiko in TNA are already supporting Maimai, 34,who has lived in the US for the last 17 years and has been sponsoring development projects through his organisation, Maasai Association.

In the ODM primaries, Maimai got 5,601 votes against Joshua Olowuasa's 3,023 and Daniel Osoi's 1,708. Oluwasa is said to have, immediately, defected to the Wiper Democratic Movement, which is still under the Cord umbrella.

In Kajiado North, TNA strategist, Joseph Manje emerged the winner and he will be contesting the seat against Cord's candidate, Samson Muindi Ang'enda. TNA is said to be strong in Kajiado North and Manje may have an easy time in the race for the parliamentary seat.

The ODM primaries in Kajiado Central only had aspirants for the county assembly seats because the incumbent MP, Joseph Nkaissery, was given a direct nomination. Nkaissery will battle it out with TNA's Patrick Tutui. Tutui defeated Stephen Nkabasha in TNA primaries with 8,118 votes against Nkabasha's 7,492.

Tutui has promised to give Nkaissery a run for his money. The battle in Kajiado West parliamentary race will feature Joseph ole Simel (ODM), Alex Magelo (NVP) and Moses Sakuda (TNA). The three were given direct nominations to contest for the seat. The constituency was created last year.

The race for the parliamentary seat in Kajiado South has attracted three contenders; George Saruni (ODM), Ken Parashina of Grand National Union party (GNU) and Katoo ole Metito of TNA.

Metito was given a direct nomination to vie for the seat. Saruni and Parashina are said to belong to the younger generation of politicians who have vowed to ensure that Metito is relegated to political oblivion.

But there is a complication in the race between Metito and Parashina - they belong to the Odomong'i clan. The two are likely to share the clan votes and votes from their Kikuyu in-laws.

Both are married to Kikuyu women. Saruni of ODM will be riding comfortably on the support of the Kamba and Maasai communities living in the expansive Kajiado South. He, also, has the blessings of former area MP, Philip Sing'aru who recently defected to ODM from PNU.

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