My take is stopping Azimio affiliate parties from fielding candidates is the perfect way to drop the voter turn-out
BY WILLIAM NDIARA
Politics is first about numbers; then about interests.
I have been following the brittle formation of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition and several things come to mind. It is not easy to convene all these parties and manage their interests in equal measure.
First, I have a disclaimer. I first voted in 2002 and at no time have I voted for Raila Odinga or his Coalition, but in this election, I will vote differently. I will be rooting for Baba.
My umbilical cord is buried somewhere in Mt Kenya; a place where Deputy President William Ruto looks likely to get a majority of votes. Though I don’t like it, I can do very little about it. The die is cast.
I live within the Nairobi metropolitan area, inside the borders of Kajiado County.
In 2017, I cast my vote in Kajiado and being a Jubilee party member, I wanted Uhuru Kenyatta to beat Raila Odinga well.
I now belong to Azimio La Umoja and therefore I want Baba to beat Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza outfit.
I want Kajiado to garner the most votes for Azimio, but some political operatives are keen on spoiling the party by pushing for the much-maligned zoning in the county.
My take is stopping Azimio affiliate parties from fielding candidates is the perfect way to drop the voter turn-out.
In Kenya, elections are mobilised around candidates of the various parties. The stiffer the competition down the ladder the higher the turnout for the election. Am yet to see a voter who walks to a polling Station and fails to vote for a Presidential Candidate.
In Kajiado, Jubilee has won majority of the seats. But with what margin?
In 2017, Jubilee Candidate Joseph Ole Lenku polled 174,000 votes against the then incumbent Governor David Nkedianye’s 146,000 votes, a difference of only 28,000 votes.
Raila Odinga got 138,000 votes against Uhuru Kenyatta’s 186,000 votes, a difference of 38,000 votes.
Lenku of Jubilee won with the whole State machinery behind him. Those that voted for Jubilee in 2017 have since split into Jubilee and UDA.
What this means is that dynamics have changed. While Lenku’s votes were a combination of Jubilee and UDA, Nkedienye’s votes were a solid ODM vote block.
As the situation currently stands and assuming we have a similar number of voters to 2017; The gubernatorial candidates of Jubilee and UDA will share the 174,000 votes Ole Lenku got in 2017.
Raila and ODM, on the other hand, have not lost a single vote in Kajiado; if anything, they have gained substantial ground courtesy of people like me who will vote for ODM and Raila for the first time.
I can therefore bet that the 138,000 votes Raila got in Kajiado, will directly go to the ODM candidate at the County Level and then some.
By the same token, the UDA and Jubilee candidates will share the 186,000 votes Uhuru Kenyatta got in 2017.
What I am saying is that to protect Raila’s Presidential votes, we need stiff competition for the gubernatorial position.
Today, if you tell Nkedianye of Jubilee not to vie you can imagine how members of his clan will react. They will definitely protest and that protest can only favour UDA. After all, him and UDA’s Katoo Ole Metito come from the Odomong’i clan.
Secondly, If Ole Lenku is not in the race, the entire Orokiteng clan, who are actually a majority, will protest and vote for any other candidate, other than Jubilee, whom they will consider their tormentor.
So what is the best way to consolidate Raila Odinga’s votes, considering that needs high presidential voter turn-out?
It therefore defeatist and counterproductive to disenfranchise Azimio Parties, considering that both aspirants already have their certificates.
Any other formula will work against Raila Odinga Presidential, while undermining the voter turn-out.