Sub Counties – Six
Location – Rift Valley
Governor – David Nkedianye
Area – 21,901 sq km
Population – 687,321
Kajiado is a market centre and a commercial hub. Banks with a presence here include; Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank and Family Bank.
The County’s politics is the most complicated in the country given the fact that those defining political destiny are not politicians but individuals in the society.
In most cases, politicians sit back and listen to their voters to define their destiny.
It is therefore imperative to note that the coming general election will not be different from the past, in this expansive region of Kajiado.
Although most politicians have always remained sensitive to the mention of clan rhetoric, it also remains a fact that clan politics always takes centre stage in every election period.
There are two major clans in Kajiado which include the Orok-Kiteng, who are considered the majority, and the minority Odomong’i.
Orok-Kiteng, who are normally referred to as the ‘black cows’, originally had been segregated by the ruling minority Odomong’i (red cows) and are now demanding a share in leadership positions.
Most past MPs in Kajiado, from the time attained independence, have always come from the house of ‘red cows’.
Although the Orok-Kiteng have the numbers against the red cows, majority of the local indigenous voters feel more secure with the leadership provided by the Odomong’i.
With the coming of two members of the Orok-Kiteng into the governor race, the political field has raised temperatures, more than before, in the region given the fact that there is also another one from the Odomong’i among the new entrants seeking gubernatorial position.
Daniel Nina and Joseph Lenku, who are from the Ilkisonko section of the Kajiado Maasai are members of the ‘black cows’, and are both in Jubilee Party with Tarayia Kores and Moses Parantai of the ‘red cows’.
During the impending Jubilee Party nominations, a candidate from the ‘diaspora community’, George King’or,i will also be in the race.
This brings the number of those seeking a JP ticket to five.
The five are expected to face each other and after the nominations, whoever will carry the day will move on to square it out with the incumbent, David Nkedianye of the Orange Democratic Movement.
During the nominations, there is a likelihood that Nina and Lenku will split in the middle the clan vote and probably let the seat go to Kores, who comes from the same clan with Nkedianye.
If this happens, Nkedianye and Kores will meet in the ballot box during the August general elections.
Both Nkedianye and Kores share the local community votes and have a backing from the diaspora votes.
Whoever will win the support of the local community by more than 60 per cent of the votes is likely to carry the day.
There are more than 90, 000 votes from the ‘outside’ communities in the region that favour both sides of the political divide.
The Kisii, Luo, Luhya and Kamba communities living in Kajiado County are most likely going to vote the opposition way, while the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and others will, most definitely, support the ruling Jubilee coalition.
It is also worth noting that the Kisii and the Kikuyu are the majority diaspora voters in the region and for one to win that position of governor, he/she must play the game of numbers well.
In the last general election, Nkedianye and Nina faced each other with other lesser candidates from the diaspora but the incumbent made his day after The National Alliance Party candidate was disqualified in the last minute after failing credibility tests on his education qualification.
Kores was, at the time, the best bet of TNA and would have crushed Nkedianye’s bid during that elections.
However, Nkedianye won the race but only managed to secure two slots for ODM MCAs and one MP, Joseph Nkaissery.
Out of 25 elected MCAs, TNA managed 23 and that was the beginning of Nkedianye’s woes at the helm of the county leadership.
Nkedianye now tells the voters to give him a second chance because in the last four years, he lived and worked in ‘hell’ as Jubilee MCAs frustrated him.
At some stage, after the last general elections, some MCAs threatened to through out of the window the county budget and decline to pass it because they felt the governor was not serving their interest.
The governor has single-handedly managed to recruit quite a number of Kajiado voters into ODM for purposes of the impending elections.
Kores and Nina have always accused the incumbent of “sitting” on the county resources and even returning unspent money to the national treasury every end of each financial year.
The two leaders are out to convince the voters to reject their governor because he has not built a single tarmac road since he took office.
Most of the county roads are in total mess. When one looks at the county budgets of 2013/14, 2014/15/, and 2016/17 roads have received a significant amount of money for roads but nothing to justify why the allocations were made.
But Nkedianye in his defense have always claimed that the money he receives is not enough to overhaul the roads.
“Another thing that has remained a major issue is the flow of money to the county from the national treasury. We can commit ourselves to undertake many projects but frustrations from the national government have made us look like liars,” says Nkedianye.
Whether Nkedianye’s explanation will convince the people of Kajiado to re-elect him, the challenge that is facing him is who the JP will pick to confront him.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto has in the past attempted to convince Nkedianye to cross over to the ruling coalition but the governor has always remained adamant.
Nkedianye is said to have given the two top leaders conditions that include being given a direct ticket to vie for the same position but Kenyatta declined the governor’s request.
During the Kajiado Central parliamentary by-election in 2014, Nkedianye single-handedly faced off with UhuruRuto team to secure the seat for ODM.
In the recently concluded Mosiro Ward by-election in Kajiado West constituency, Nkedianye again managed to secure the seat that had been left vacant by an ODM member.
There are five sub counties in the region which includes; Mashuuru, Isinya, Kajiado Central, Kajiado South, Kajiado West and Kajiado North.
Kajiado East Constituency carries two sub counties in Isinya and Mashuuru while Kajiado Central, Kajiado South, Kajiado West and Kajiado North constituencies have one sub county each.