Featured Politics

Lodokilani, Purko has always been side-lined, hope UDA does balancing — leaders

POWER GAMES: The Keekonyokie prevailed upon other communities to support their bids for various positions

The Loodokilani were to get the County Assembly Speaker’s seat, but they say they were short-changed when the time came for the Speaker’s election

Lodokilani and Purko communities in parts of Kajiado West has come out to complain of being side-lined in the allocation of resources and county positions.

Speaking to the Kajiado Star, former Magadi MCA Joseph Masiaya said the distribution of seats was so far not balanced.

“We are hopeful that the UDA government will do the balancing in future appointments,” said Masiaya.

The two communities are found in Magadi, Loodokilani and Mosiro wards of the constituency. While the Loodokilani are to be found in the first two wards, the Purko mainly inhabit the Mosiro area.

“The Keekonyokie appear to be molesting the other communities,” said a former parliamentary aspirant who requested anonymity. “If you look at the positions held by people from Kajiado West — we have the MP, the Women’s Representative, and the County Speaker — all of them are from Keekonyokie.”

Some residents who spoke to this publication did not mince words either, saying some leaders of the Keekonyokie community were “greedy” and had taken up all key positions, leaving nothing for the Loodokilani and Purko communities.

The Keekonyokie hold the advantage of being in a cosmopolitan area that helps swell the population of the area due to people from elsewhere who have settled there. However, the local Maasai population was not significantly more than other communities, he added.

“Those in power are taking advantage to favour the Keekonyokie clan at our expense,” said the former parliamentary candidate.

It is commonplace for elders and other powerbrokers to negotiate the distribution of political positions among the Maasai in Kajiado. The aim of these agreements is to ensure that the Maasai vote is not split, which could lead to a loss of positions to other groups in the county, including non-Maasais on the ballot.

Prior to the August 9 election, it is said that the Keekonyokie prevailed upon the other communities to support their bids for the parliamentary and women representative seats, which they went ahead to win.

The Loodokilani were to get the County Assembly Speaker’s seat, but they say they were short-changed when the time came for the Speaker’s election. The County Assembly Speaker is elected by MCAs, both those elected and nominated.

Even though Kajiado West includes the various communities who reside there, the highest position held by the Loodokilani is that of MCA. “While at the National level, the highest position we have ever held is that of a chief”, says Lodokilani MCA Saitoti Saigilu.

In terms of decision-making, power is held by the MP, Woman’s Representative, Governor, Senator and County Assembly Speaker who consult among themselves, but the Loodokilani and Purko feel left out since they have no representatives in any high elective office.

The local MP and party officials have a key role to play in deciding who to back for a position at the county. Having voted decisively for the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party of President William Ruto that also enjoys a majority in the County Assembly, the Loodokilani and Purko communities say they came out of the election season with virtually nothing to show for it.

Their hope now lies in getting appointments at the national level. State House Comptroller and former gubernatorial aspirant Katoo ole Metito is being looked upon to assist in this effort, but locals say he is now in a busy office and it may take time for him to assist.

Being a leader from the county, Katoo is well aware of local currents in politics and it remains to be seen whether he will move to help quell the rising discontent by some communities.

This may be particularly important if he wishes to build a strong profile on which to once again vie for the gubernatorial seat in 2027. In the recent election, he came second to Governor Joseph ole Lenku, who is serving his second term and will be ineligible to run in 2027.

Leaders who spoke said the lack of representation and being shunted aside is not new to the Loodokilani, who have endured the discrimination for years. The cost has been stagnation in development, with most projects being taken to the areas occupied by the Keekonyokie.

“Anything reserved for Kajiado West goes to the Keekonyokie,” said Gideon Saruni, a youth activist. “When the issue of the headquarters of Kajiado West came up, they decided it will be in Keekonyokie. A technical training institute was also to be started, which again was taken to their area. When it came to the recent appointments of Principal Secretaries, again the Keekonyokie lobbied for the appointee who got the seat, even if it was not one of their own.”

This discrimination against the Loodokilani community has trickled down to youth and women’s issues, said Saruni, adding that the local MP and Women’s Representative do not consider youth from their area for any initiatives. The lion’s share of everything goes to Keekonyokie, he said.

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