Politics

Lenku’s uphill struggle as he seeks re-election

What are the chances that Baba, who has had loyal ODM foot soldiers, will back an outsider, read Lenku, for governor position in Kajiado, simply because he backs Azimio la Umoja? Tafakari hayo.

Joseph Jama ole Lenku enjoys the power of incumbency in Kajiado but he is most definitely aware that getting re-elected will not be a walk in the park. He will have to work extra hard and smart to take the big prize home, in 2022.

Right now an heightened air of uncertainty surrounds the ticket he will defend his seat on, as Jubilee is more or less on its death bead. His supporters are currently going out of their way to tell everyone that cares to listen that Lenku will be the Handshake/Azimio candidate in Kajiado.

Not so fast, Tarayia ole Kores and David Nkedianye are telling Lenku. The two are reminding the governor that they are the recognised members of ODM and that he must knock first before entering.

During the Azimio la Umoja official launch at the Kasarani Stadium, Lenku was accompanied by a delegation of noisy supporters as his way of showing that he calls the shots on behalf of Azimio in Kajiado.

For now, it is not yet clear who will fly the Azimio la Umoja flag in Kajiado. While the ODM party leader has indicated that Azimio is open to corporate membership, it is not yet clear how the different parties will contest the 2022 elections. Will each party field their candidates separately or will they first subject themselves to a joint Azimio nomination?

Should by any chance Odinga follow the 2017 example set by the Nasa coalition, then each party will be fielding their candidates separately. Should that be the case, Lenku should expect to meet Kores, Nkedianye and whoever will carry the day at UDA, at the ballot box.

In such a scenario case it will be flat out for the governor, hoping that his five-year performance, while in power will attract the goodwill of voters. That is where it gets tricky, for the challengers, who now want to unseat him, maintain that he hasn’t impressed much while in office.

Will the Kajiado North electorate stand with Lenku the way they did in 2017? While he will get his fair share of votes from that region, there is a certain ambivalence, bordering on apathy, towards his candidacy.

The fact that all MCAs from the region, bar one, have decamped to UDA, where they are supporting Lenku’s opponent, Katoo ole Metito, is testimony to the fact that Kajiado North is not exactly friendly for the governor.

However, even the meanest Lenku detractors acknowledge that, unlike Nkedianye before him, the current governor has put up some tangible projects in the area, including the World Bank funded market in Ngong, another one in Kiserian and the fact that he kept his word in closing down the dumpsite in Ngong.

In Kajiado East, Lenku managed to put up a full-fledged primary school in Kyang’ombe despite the fact that it is not part of his mandate. The market in Kitengela will soon be complete and this will go some way in endearing him to voters in the area.

As for the other constituencies, apart from Kajiado South, where he is expected to share the spoils with Katoo – should he be the UDA flagbearer – Lenku will rely on time tested clan arithmetic to see who carries the day in Kajiado West and Central.

Back to Azimio, what are the chances that Baba, who has had loyal ODM foot soldiers, will back an outsider, read Lenku, for governor position in Kajiado, simply because he backs Azimio la Umoja? Tafakari hayo.

Still, the fact that Lenku comes out as a divisive figure, that courts enemies easier that he makes friends, will determine how he fairs in the elections. His famed temper tantrums will also be placed on the proverbial weighing scale.

This, truly, will be a do or die for him.

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