CANDIDATURE: Politician has dispelled rumours on social media that he is seeking to unseat his long-term political ally and kin George Sunkuyia in the Kajiado West parliamentary race
There are rumours that Enteke had withdrawn from defending his ward representative seat in the hope that if Sunkuyia would be disqualified to run for the MP seat for a lack of requisite documents, then Enteke would run in his place
Ewuaso-Kidong MCA Justus Ngusur finds himself in an unenviable position as the clock ticks towards the August 9 General Election, with his apparent political calculations muddled by Senate’s move to allow candidates without degree certificates to run for office.
The second-term county lawmaker, popularly known as Enteke, had late last year said that he will not be defending his seat in the coming General Election, and had unequivocally endorsed Hassan Sekento of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party to succeed him.
A confidant of politician Joseph Simel from the rival Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), added his voice to speculations that have been quietly going round, saying, “It is in the public domain that Enteke had withdrawn from defending his ward representative seat in the hope that if Sunkuyia would be disqualified to run for the MP seat for a lack of requisite documents, then he would run in his place.”
Section 22 of the Elections Act makes it mandatory for all those seeking to run for parliamentary and County Assembly positions to possess a university degree. The Senate has now unanimously passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2021, listing the ability to read and write as the only requirement. The Bill is set to be introduced in the National Assembly for consideration before it can receive presidential assent.
Once the Bill receives presidential assent, politicians who were set to be locked out would have been given a lifeline. This leaves those others like Enteke, who were looking forward to benefiting from the exit of politicians without university degrees, in limbo.
Enteke has however dispelled rumours on social media that he is still seeking to unseat his long-term political ally and kin George Sunkuyia in the Kajiado West parliamentary race. He has also not revealed his next political move in light of the developments in the Senate, leading to speculation regarding his political future.
Some had believed that he was eyeing a Deputy Governor post, while others speculated that he would go for the Senatorial position. His choice to remain silent, it is thought, is a tact to buy time as he continues to strategise on “an already decided” move.
However, a recent Facebook post by a Kajiado West resident — and which has gained a lot of traction on social media platforms —has alleged that tension is high between the two UDA politicians as Enteke has finally decided to face Sunkuyia in the coming election. That decision, if true, would be bound to cause ripples on the local political scene.
Speaking to Kajiado Star on phone, Enteke dismissed the allegations: “There is nothing of that sort, and in fact it will never happen.”
‘Extremely malicious propaganda’
He said he was rigorously campaigning for Sunkuyia, terming the allegations as “desperate propaganda by known perennial failures to try to create unnecessary tension within our camp or to portray me as someone who does not have a stand in the hope of reviving their dwindling fortunes in the public limelight”.
He added: “I wish therefore to urge our supporters to treat the propaganda with the contempt it deserves.”
When asked to state his next political move, he remained guarded, only saying, “Definitely as a politician, I always have progressive ambitions.”
Sunkuyia, on his part, furiously called out ODM politician Joseph Simel as the architect of that “extremely malicious propaganda, that borders on incitement, with the intention of diverting public attention from the many atrocities he has recently been spearheading with the blessings of [Governor Joseph] ole Lenku, especially on the appointment of Assistant County Commissioners (ACCs).” A majority of the appointees, he says, are from one clan to the disenfranchisement of many others who qualified for the positions but have been denied the opportunity for political reasons.
Attempts to reach out to Simel for a response were unfruitful, as he did not pick our calls and was out of reach.
Simel’s close ally, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he could not authoritatively speak on behalf of the politician, agreed that Simel “pushed” for the appointment of four ACCs, all from one clan, “but it was a coincidence, as they were the ones who had applied for the positions.”
The confidant denied claims that Simel or his supporters were the architects of the propaganda, noting that, “It is in the public domain that Enteke had withdrawn from defending his ward representative seat in the hope that if Sunkuyia would be disqualified to run for the MP seat for a lack of requisite documents, then he would run in his place.
Our confidant from Enteke’s circles, however, told the Kajiado Star that he could be nursing ambitions to succeed Johnson Osoi as the second Speaker of the County Assembly or, alternatively, to seek a political appointment if Deputy President William Ruto wins the State House race in the forthcoming August polls.
Osoi, who has served as the pioneer County Assembly boss for two consecutive terms, is now gunning for a Senatorial post on a Jubilee ticket.