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Jubilee’s line-up in Kajiado, will it be a hit or a miss?

The most chatter has been centred on the Senate and Woman Rep, and to a lesser extent, the Kajiado East seats

Jubilee party finally unveiled its line-up for Kajiado on Wednesday to mixed reaction from both aspirants and supporters.

Dr David Nkedianye now has his preferred line-up as they plan to comb through the county in search of votes. Apart from Joseph Manje, his running mate, the party, through a consensus matrix hammered out at the Creflo Resort, in Kitengela, settled for former Kajiado West MP, Moses ole Sakuda, to go for the Senate seat, at the expense of Speaker Johnson Osoi.

The other notable selection is that of Simayiai Rakita, for the position of Woman Rep, edging out Halima Shariff and Eve Merin in the process.

Perhaps the biggest shocker came in Kajiado East, where a relatively unknown Marina Kelly was selected, leaving male candidates, Daniel Kanchori, Douglas Keton and Wilson Kisemei disappointed.

Earlier, Parsimei Gitau had been picked to fly the Jubilee flag in Kajiado North. Of course, the party had from the very beginning made it known that it would be backing Kanchori Memusi of ODM, to defend his Kajiado Central seat.

In Kajiado West, the party settled for Joseph Simel, while Bishop John Parit will be fighting for the Kajiado South seat.

Perhaps the most chatter has been centred on the Senate and Woman Rep, and to a lesser extent, the Kajiado East seats.

While the party did not disclose reasons behind the choices it made, it is highly likely that for the position of Senate, Jubilee decided to go for experience and name recognition, when it chose Sakuda over Osoi.

Sakuda has represented Kajiado North, following the death of Prof George Saitoti, and became Kajiado West’s first MP after constituency boundaries were reviwed.

Osoi, on the other hand, has never tried his hand in elective politics, though he served two relatively successful terms as Speaker of the Kajiado County Assembly.

Osoi’s indecision, shifting his loyalty from Governor Joseph ole Lenku, whom he invited to his Senate bid launch, to Nkedianye, at the last minute, must have cost him.

When it comes to the rough and tumble of political brawling, it is doubtful Osoi can hold a candle to Sakuda, the man who did the unthinkable and challenged Saitoti, when no one would have dared to do it.

Sakuda is now expected to battle it out with ODM’s Judy Pareno and UDA’s Samuel Seki.

There is however the small matter of Sakuda and Pareno being in the Azimio Coalition, so somehow, the two would probably have to be subjected to some form of consensus, so as to present one candidate. Failure to do this, they would be giving Seki a big advantage on August 9.

Jubilee party’s selection of Rakita, over Merin, however, seems solid and

inspired. Though both contested and lost, in 2017, Rakita brings youthful enthusiasm and a never-say-die spirit to the table.

In 2017, Rakita, then contesting on a Wiper ticket, ran rings around the more fancied Esther Somoire (ODM), on the campaign trail, making her look like an amateur. Her only drawback then was being in a less popular party.

Rakita would definitely give a good account of herself when pitted against Leah Sankaire of UDA and ODM’s Jennifer Moinket.

Like Sakuda, however, Rakita might have to reckon with a possible face-off with Moinket, to get Azimio’s ticket.

While it is understandable why the party settled on Sakuda and Rakita, questions are still being asked as to Kelly was handed the greenlight to run for Kajiado East.

Answers are not forthcoming as to how she beat someone like Kanchori, who not only was the MCA Oloorsirkon Sholinke, but also governor Lenku’s PA; not forgetting that in 2017, he almost became Speaker of the Kajiado County Assembly.

Melly, to many, particularly in Kitengela, is an unknown quantity; untried and untested. It is hoped that, as a compromise, the party has promised Kanchori something substantial, like the Speaker’s seat.

Deeper probing by Kajiado Star revealed that complex clan arithmetic came into play, leading to her selection over Kanchori, Keton and Kisemei. Still, one cannot fail to see Nkedianye’s hand in the whole thing.

Be that as it may, it is doubtful the selecting panel took cognisance of the fact that Kajiado East, like Kajiado North is largely an urban constituency with a cosmopolitan mix of voters. Those voters, who are the overwhelming majority in Kajiado East, do not care, either way about Maasai clan politics and it explains why Peris Tobiko was able to win the seat two consecutive times, in spite of the heavy cultural odds placed on her by the community.

If Jubilee insists on having Kelly as their candidate, it might cost them the seat as it will be huge advantage to UDA’s Mary Seneta, who will take the seat without breaking a sweat.

Or was that Nkedianye’s plan all along?

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