SPLIT IN THE ORANGE PARTY: Lenku accused of supporting non-ODM candidates in Kajiado North and Central constituencies
MP aspirant says even though both the governor and himself are in ODM, the latter has been undercutting his campaign and supporting his opponent
Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku has lost the support of his party’s aspirant for the Kajiado North parliamentary ticket, George Yogo, who has vowed to support the candidature of former governor Dr David Nkedianye.
Yogo, who is vying on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket, has bitterly accused Lenku of not only failing to support him even though they are in the same party, but also of being disrespectful.
“I don’t have a personal issue with Lenku; we only disagreed on principle,” Yogo told the Kajiado Star. He cites a meeting they both attended at which he asked those present to vote for Lenku. “When it was his turn to speak, he told them to vote Raila Odinga for president, and to vote ODM for the governor, women’s rep and senator, but for the rest to vote as they wished.”
The governor, Yogo said, was supporting the candidature of independent contestant Nicholas Sankok Teeka for the Kajiado North parliamentary seat. “Teeka wanted to vie on a Jubilee ticket, but they sent him out and refused to give him the certificate because he is openly allied to William Ruto.”
Lenku, according to Yogo, “is an arrogant and disrespectful leader.” He contrasts him with Dr Nkedianye, whom he says does not insult people. He claimed that when he enquired the reason why Lenku was campaigning for his opponent yet they were in the same party, the governor openly abused him over the phone by telling him, “Don’t tell me nonsense. Stupid!”
Yogo, a first-time contestant, further accused Lenku of calling a meeting at Park Place at which he urged those present to help Teeka get votes. “And I am not the only one being sidelined. ODM has a candidate in Kajiado Central, Memusi Kanchory, but the governor is openly campaigning for a Wiper candidate.”
Despite the difficulties, Yogo says he is up to the task and expects to win the vote. This is especially so given the split in the huge Kikuyu voting bloc, with several contestants from the community. “There is still a huge voting bloc of Luos, Luhyas, Kisiis and Kambas. Their only candidate is myself.”
A former university student leader, the politician said he had in addition up to 19 years’ experience in politics and did not need the patronage of Lenku to win votes. “I have lived in Kajiado for close to 20 years. I have worked as a political advisor and strategist both for the president and prime minister. I have served as the prime minister’s advisor on youth affairs. I have overseen five electoral processes,” said Yogo.
It remains to be seen what impact the falling out between Lenku and various leaders will have on the governor’s campaign as well as the affected contestants.