Politics

Lenku’s flip-flops: A case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

ETHNIC DIVIDE: Governor’s team has tasked their bloggers to do the dirty job of spreading anti-Kikuyu sentiment among the Maasai

By badmouthing Jubilee and running to ODM, Lenku is attempting to pit the two parties against each other. But can he afford to pick a fight with Uhuru Kenyatta and Jubilee?

When Joseph ole Lenku was vying for the Kajiado governor’s position in 2017, he ran on a ticket of uniting the people living in Kajiado.

His message resonated with voters across the board, who gave him their support and enabled him to dislodge Dr David Nkedianye from the coveted position of governor.

At the time, there was a nagging perception among non-Maasais living in Kajiado that Nkedianye’s government had not been inclusive enough. Five years out in the cold have taught Nkedianye the need to reach out to other communities, which explains his decision to team up with Kajiado North MP Joseph Manje as he seeks to dethrone Lenku.

Lenku, on the other hand, has made an about-turn on his 2017 pledge and is now talking about championing the rights of the Maasai to the exclusion of others. Together with his deputy, Martin Moshisho, they now claim that their political problems arise from their “steadfast commitment to fighting for the rights of the Maasai”.

One may ask: What practical steps has he taken to champion the rights of the Maasais, apart from those provided for in the Constitution? The 2010 Constitution already ensures there is equitable distribution of resources countrywide.

Not unless his is a mischief-making undertaking, his claim to championing the rights of the Maasai rings hollow.

What happened to his 2017 mission of uniting Kajiado, a mission that propelled him to become governor? Was he even committed to that goal, or was it merely a convenient ploy to win votes?

While justifying his defection from Jubilee to ODM, Lenku and his supporters have been claiming that officials in the Jubilee party attempted to coerce him to drop Moshisho as his running mate and instead pick a Kikuyu candidate. They are even insinuating that President Uhuru Kenyatta was involved in the plot.

They are however not coming out openly with that allegation; they have tasked their bloggers to do the dirty job of spreading anti-Kikuyu sentiment among the Maasai. Is his ultimate goal to put the two communities on a collision course?

If at all he was genuine about his complaints, why didn’t he call an official press conference to raise his objections regarding the alleged coercion by Jubilee? Better still, why didn’t he raise the issue publicly when he met ODM party leader Raila Odinga at Chungwa House?

Ordinarily, one would expect officials at Jubilee to respond to Lenku’s allegations but then, how does a national party begin to entangle itself with unsubstantiated rumours doing the rounds on the Internet? Has Lenku forgotten that the same people he is busy besmirching voted overwhelmingly for him despite the fact that they did not get the deputy governor position?

It also beggars belief whether Lenku and his people appreciate the fact that Azimio is an initiative between Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga’s ODM, and that the final decision as to who will fly the Azimio flag in Kajiado rests with them? Have they also lost sight of the fact that Uhuru is the patron of the Azimio Coalition?

By badmouthing Jubilee and running to ODM, Lenku is attempting to pit the two parties against each other. Did he think that by throwing tantrums, Jubilee would panic and entice him back with a direct nomination?

Can he really afford to pick a fight with Uhuru Kenyatta and Jubilee?

It is not lost on observers that Moshisho delivered his latest remarks — and which have proved to be quite controversial — with lots of anger and frustration. This anger is informed by the fact that things might not be going their way right now.

Going by their utterances, does it mean, then, that Lenku and his deputy do not need the votes of non-Maasai residents registered in Kajiado?

A word of advice to the governor: Fire your advisors! They will haul you from the frying pan and throw you into the fire.

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