Saoina: ‘Twice prevailed upon to shelve ambitions, not again’

Eldoret-based educationist Josiah Saoina who claims that clan arithmetic thwarted his political ambitions twice, says the time is now.

In 2013, Saoina first expressed interest for the erstwhile Kajiado Central constituency seat, where he was to square it out with, among others, the late Major General (rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, David Sankori, Patrick Tutui and Peris Tobiko.

However, he reported that, at a meeting held at Empeut Resort, “Elders of the Iseuri age-set prevailed upon me to withdraw my candidature, on grounds that I come from the same clan with the late Major General; and still, being ‘their son’, they argued that I shouldn’t compete against one of them.”

In 2017, he again expressed interest for the Kajiado East parliamentary seat, an ambition that never came to be, as the community leaders also prevailed upon him to shelve his bid, arguing on the basis of his blood kinship with the then incumbents; Governor Dr David Nkedianye, and Woman Representative Mary Seneta.

The duo, who were then seeking to defend their seats, Saoina said, “Are my first cousins”.

“A meeting was held at Maanzoni Lodge, and I was told that three family members cannot contest at the same time, but since the two were incumbents, they settled on me to withdraw my candidature”.

However on April 6, at a “mega unity advocacy rally” held at his Isinya home, and which, he said, was attended by a majority of the Maa community leadership top brass, “the community resoundingly vouched for my candidature in the forthcoming general election.

“I however told them, at the moment, let’s not resort to early politicking; instead we concertedly support President Uhuru Kenyatta for the implementation of his Big Four Agenda; for the sake of our people,” he said.

But why then do people have much faith in him? His enduring service as an educationist, starting as a classroom teacher in the former PBS (now Olkejuado Boys Primary School) in 1994, and which saw him scale ranks to very senior position of administrations. More profoundly, is his imprint of selfless service to the community.

In his former stint as a Kajiado Deputy District Officer, he played a pivotal role in establishing more learning institutions, and employing more teachers.

Among the primary schools that he boast of are; Kunte, Olkatetemai, Noompala, Erankau, Kibinini, Ilaimerror, Emurua Enkerr, Ilmukutani, and Noonkabolo.

Other institutions are; Sultan Hamud unit for disabled, and a score of Christian churches across almost all denominations.

He faults the incumbent Senator Philip ole Mpaayei, as having not done enough as he is expected. Specifically, he faulted the senator for not having “moved even a single Bill in the floor of the House, for the past two years he has been in office.”

He added that, considering the specific needs of the Kajiado residents, “A senator, should have more than enough motions to table in the House.”

He cited the Wildlife Bill, which he says, ought to have been reviewed, as it does not favor the pastoralist communities, who are apparently the most affected by the human-wildlife conflicts, “as compensation for the victims is not done promptly, and it’s the Senate that is better placed to articulate such a matter.”

He further hit on the senator, noting that, “in the recent incidences witnessed in Ilkellunyeti, Poka Kenyawa Ward, [for instance] where scores lost their lives, and schools almost shut; the senator was a no show, leaving it to a nominated senator (Judith Pareno) to run his show.”

He also cited Mpaayei’s silence in the row between county government and Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd, as a depiction of a leader who lacks interest in the opportunity he has to serve his people.

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