Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku’s appointment of five county executive committee members which included a key opposition figure sparked off a major debate in Kajiado today.
While some people are still dumbfounded as to why Lenku on Friday picked one of the leading Orange Democratic Movement party politicians, Esther Somoire, as his nominee member for health services, others in Jubilee are celebrating the “death” of opposition in Kajiado.
Politician Nixon Karaine of Jubilee said on Saturday that Lenku’s move to bring on board all political players from either opposition or Jubilee in a bid to heal a polarized region after the last general election is welcome.
“Lenku has taken a bold step to show the people of Kajiado that election bickering is behind us and we should move forward to build the region. A good leader does not engage in petty political issues but attempts to unite his people regardless of how they voted,” said Karaine.
As those supporting Jubilee congratulated Lenku for his bold step to bring everyone on board, the opposition remained skeptical about the governor’s action.
Former governor David Nkedianye, who has since gone to court to overturn the election of Lenku, was brief in his comment when we sought his reaction.
“Let me not comment on the appointment of Somoire. I do not intend to make any comment on the matter,” said Nkedianye, who on Friday claimed he had never congratulated Lenku for beating him in an election.
Daniel Osoi, the man who natured Somoire in ODM prior to the last general election, said he was on his way with his children to Amboseli and would comment on the appointment as soon he is back.
Kitengela businessman, Peter Omondi, claimed Lenku decided to pick those who were on the opposing end in readiness of what the courts will decide on the election petition filed by Nkedianye.
“These are survival tactics aimed at frustrating ODM in the region. Taking one individual is a very in significant move to hoodwink the opposition,” said Omondi.
But while reacting to her nomination, Somoire made it clear that she “sourced” and “lobbied” for the position after Nkedianye allegedly made it clear to her that he would not wish to petition the election of Lenku.
“There is nothing peculiar about my nomination because it is all about me. After election, people should move on. Even while I was in the opposition, my calling was to serve the people of Kajiado. What is wrong if I serve my people as the county minister?” asked Somoire.
She said she is grateful to Lenku “because of his resolve to unite all the people regardless of who voted for him”.
Another nominee for the position of CECM, Public Service, Administration and Citizen Participation, Caroline Chege, said her appointment to serve in the county government is long overdue.
“I have stood for the people of Kajiado for the last 10 years. I have fought for the weak and attempted to change the lives of many for the better. Even though I lobbied for this position, I was not surprised when I was named by Hon. Lenku,” said Chege.
Chege said she is excited to work with Lenku because “he has a vision for this county”.
She poked holes into Nkedianye’s administration and claimed the former governor was “hostile” to investors.
“He squandered many opportunities that were floated by investors during his tenure. He chased away Nigeria’s multinational industrial conglomerate Dangote group of companies that wanted to deal with the people of Kajiado Central without any good reason” claimed Chege.
Lenku on Friday nominated half of his new cabinet and immediately called on the county assembly start vetting process.
Lenku, in a surprise move, included opposition politician, Esther Somoire in his nominee list.
He told the assembly to sit and work on the vetting so as to allow act on his pledges of fast-tracking the services to the people.
Other nominees on the list included; Alex Kilowua (Roads, Public Works, Housing and Energy), Joseph Sankale, (Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources) and Michael Semera (County Treasurer).
Semera is a banker while Chege is from the NGO world.
Speaking after naming his nominees, Lenku expressed disappointment on the direction the opposition is taking the country.
He said the economy of the country is at its worst owing to political temperatures generated by the repeat presidential election.
“Business people in Kajiado have expressed their concern over the way business is taking. We cannot allow people to hold the country at ransom,” said Lenku.
Regarding the position the former governor, David Nkedianye took on Thursday by going to court to contest his election Lenku said his predecessor is setting a “bad” precedent.
“Nkedianye had conceded defeat during my inauguration, and I am shocked that opposition leader Raila Odinga is using him to divide the people of Kajiado”, said Lenku.