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How Seki campaigned for Lenku and almost got kicked in the teeth

In this exclusive interview with Kajiado Star, Seki who was, on Tuesday sacked by Lenku, lays bare the behind the scenes efforts that informed the 2017 campaigns and the maneuvers afterwards that saw him get increasingly sidelined by the man he campaigned for

What many in Kajiado do not know is that Samuel Seki was instrumental in getting David Nkedianye to withdraw his election petition against Governor Joseph ole Lenku, Kajiado Star can reveal.

In an exclusive interview with Kajiado Star, at his home, Seki said that when he informed Lenku that he had opened negotiations with Dr Nkedianye’s people, the governor had initially expressed reservations, telling him that he did not believe the former governor and his people would sit on a negotiation table.

Seki nonetheless pressed on with the negotiations. “Remember this was shortly after the Supreme Court had ordered a repeat of the 2017 Presidential Election,” said Seki. “I feared that a similar scenario would befall the gubernatorial elections here in Kajiado, where Lenku had also been elected on a Jubilee ticket.”

Nkedianye had lodged the petition despite having announced publicly, during Lenku’s inauguration, that he would not be going to court. “When I reached out to Nkedianye and his people I told them that his reputation would jeopardised should he appear to be someone who does not keep his word,” explained Seki.

Even as he was negotiating with Nkedianye’s camp, Seki was not in good book with the newly elected governor. Lenku had by then announced a partial cabinet line-up and Seki’s name was nowhere to be found. This was odd, seeing as Seki had been Lenku’s chief campaigner.

Expectations of people inside the Jubilee Party in Kajiado were that Seki would have been handsomely rewarded by Lenku.

It should be remembered that Seki, who had been the County Secretary in Narok between 2013 and 2017, had expressed interest in contesting the Kajiado governor’s position at the beginning of 2017, but was prevailed upon by elders to shelve his ambitions in favour of Lenku. “The elders reasoned that courtesy of having occupied a CS (Internal Security) position during Jubilee’s first term, Lenku was my senior in terms of leadership. The agreement was that I would get the next available position in the county, once the government was formed,” recalled Seki.

With the agreement in place, Seki went flat out campaigning for Lenku. “I was very certain that we would win the election. I also used a lot of my money in the campaign,” he said, though he did not state the exact amount.

While the deputy governor’s position would have been the next available position for Seki, it wasn’t feasible for a number of reasons. “The elders again prevailed upon me to give up the seat for Martin Moshisho, in order to appease the youth vote as well as rope in Moshisho’s clan,” said Seki. Seki and Lenku are roughly age mates and both come from the same Orokiteng clan.

After Lenku was announced winner, Seki called the new governor seeking to know what he had in store for him. “He told me to go for speaker’s position,” says Seki. At that time, Johnson Osoi, who had served as Speaker during Nkedianye’s time, was out of contention. He had also been a no-show during the campaigns.

Lenku was particularly mad with Osoi for allegedly issuing a bouncing check to the Lenku campaign.

Apart from Seki, Daniel Kanchori, a former Oloorsirkon Sholinke MCA, was the only other candidate for Speaker’s position on the Jubilee side. “I was very confident of capturing the Speaker’s position and started lobbying elected MCAs to vote for me,” added Seki.

Unknown to him, Ntaati, the Dalalekutuk MCA, was had thrown a mighty spanner in the works. “Ntaati, who is my MCA, approached Lenku behind my back and together with Katoo and Sunkuyia conviced the governor to ditch me and support Osoi, he even engineered a reconciliation between Lenku and Osoi,” explains the soft-spoken Seki.

Though disappointed with the betrayal by Lenku, which was informed by Ntaati’s backstabbing, Seki nevertheless embarked on a one-man mission to convince Nkedianye to withdraw the election petition. “I reckoned that in spite of the mistreatment of Lenku and his people, I couldn’t stand seeing all that I had worked hard for, on the campaign trail, go down the drain courtesy of an election petition,” he added.

After many days of convincing and cajoling Nkedianye and his team, they finally agreed to a meeting with the Lenku team. After the negotiations, Nkedianye agreed to withdraw the petition on condition that he gets a refund of his legal costs, which the Lenku team happily obliged.

Following the petition coup, Seki was once more in Lenku’s good books and that is how he got appointed as Education CEC. He says that due to the humiliation he had suffered in the hands of Lenku and his handlers, he had initially refused the appointment, but the elders yet again prevailed upon him to take up the position.

Seki is credited with a number of positive changes at the Education docket, including the employment of 700 ECD teachers on permanent and pensionable terms. He also introduced feeding program for ECD pupils.

He also played a key role in expanding existing youth polytechnics, namely Isinya and Namelok so that they could take in more students taking craft and artisan courses. “Before that, the Education Department had teamed up with the KCB foundation to train about 400 students on business entrepreneurship courses at the Maasai Technical Training Institute,” he explains.

Seki would later be moved to be County Secretary, a position he held in acting capacity for one and a half years before being transferred to the Department of Culture, Gender and Tourism, where he ensured that the Women Empowerment Bill was passed in the Assembly and assented by the governor. “This Bill had stagnated for two years before I came in,” he explained. “I also ensured that the Environment Conservation Act, which was recently signed by the governor, was passed”

Seki’s last posting was the Department of Public Service, in a reshuffle that was instituted at the end of July.

Editor’s note: After Nkedianye withdrew the petition, Taraiya ole Kores took it up, but lost to Lenku’s side.

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