Politics

Will Simel dump Lenku for Nkedianye?

SHIFTING ALLIANCES: Should the Orokiteng clan decide to vote as a bloc in favour of Moses Konana, then Lenku will have nothing to deliver to Simel

Throughout Governor Joseph ole Lenku’s first term, Simel wielded significant influence in crucial government decision making, especially on issues that affected Kajiado West residents

Kajiado West MP aspirant Joseph ole Simel has set tongues wagging on social media platforms with speculation that he intends to shift political allegiances from incumbent governor Joseph ole Lenku to his long-term political ally former governor Dr David Nkedianye.

Speaking in a local radio interview on Tuesday, Simel avoided naming the person he supports in the governor race despite his close links with Lenku.

Nkedianye, a former university lecturer, first ran and won in the governorship race in 2013 on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket.

He failed to retain his seat in 2017, a race in which he was fully supported by Simel — who was then aspiring for the Kajiado West Parliamentary seat. As Nkedianye lost to Lenku of the Jubilee Party, Simel also narrowly lost to Jubilee’s George Sunkuyia; despite disputing the results, they were upheld by the court.

Nkedianye also initially protested the poll outcomes, claiming that he was rigged out, and consequently lodged a petition in court to challenge the electoral results. He later withdrew the case under unclear circumstances.

When Lenku took office, Simel, a longstanding ODM politician, surprisingly became a powerful operative in his administration, to the point he had influence on key Cabinet and other government appointments.

This was to the chagrin of some Jubilee politicians, but more particularly MP Sunkuyia, who contended that he had contributed strenuously to the victory of Lenku as the second governor despite having been the underdog.

Sunkuyia, an immediate former Keekonyokie Ward representative, was apparently perturbed that a regime he helped to clinch power could opt to sideline him — and even worse, work with his arch-rival.

Throughout Lenku’s first term, Simel continued to wield significant influence in crucial government decision making, especially on issues that affected Kajiado West residents. Pundits postulated that in view of the local clan politics matrix, he would be expected to reciprocate by supporting Lenku’s re-election bid.

Simel comes from the Odomongi sub-clan, while Lenku comes from the Orokiteng one.

In essence, the arrangement meant that Lenku would mobilize his Orokiteng clan to support Simel in the parliamentary race, while he mobilizes his Odomongi clan to support Lenku to retain his seat.

Thosee plans are however seemingly being overtaken by events, especially with the declaration by another of Lenku’s close allies and newcomer Moses Konana, of the Jubilee party and from the Orokiteng sub-clan, that he intends to vie for the parliamentary seat.

Should the Orokiteng clan decide to vote as a bloc in favour of Konana, then Lenku will have nothing to deliver to Simel.

In light of their unofficial political pact, it is rumoured that Simel had sought the governor to bear upon Konana to shelve his ambitions, but the latter has remained adamant.

Unlike Simel, who was banking on financial support from the governor, Konana is a former personal assistant of Narok Governor Samuel ole Tunai and is a self-styled politician capable of financing his own campaigns, thus complicating any chances of being persuaded to drop his bid.

To save his face, Simel is seen as coalescing around Kajiado West ex-MP Moses Sakuda, also from the Orokiteng clan, and who is gunning for the Senatorial post. The latter had yesterday evening declared his support for Nkedianye.

It is in the interplay of these circumstances that Simel is thought as having nothing to gain from supporting Lenku, forcing him to return to his old ally, Nkedianye.

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