News Politics

Metito for governor? The battle begins

Katoo ole Metito will be running for Kajiado governor seat in 2022.
Katoo ole Metito will be running for Kajiado governor seat in 2022.
Other than the Kajiado South legislator, all the other candidates including Governor Joseph ole Lenku are allied to the ‘handshake’ side of the Jubilee Party

SHOTS FIRED: MP claims to have the support of 22 sitting and nominated MCAs in the County Assembly

Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito has declared he will be gunning for the county’s top seat in 2022 on a Hustler Movement ticket.

Metito’s announcement, made on October 12, is causing ripples in Governor Joseph ole Lenku’s camp.

“I am today declaring that whatever people have been hearing as rumours regarding my political stand in 2022 is now confirmed as the truth,” Metito said on the phone.

The Kajiado South MP had said last Tuesday: “It is too early to talk about my political stand in 2022. We are first focused on the Hustler Movement for the time being. The rest will be decided after the Building Bridges Initiative debate is over.”

‘Let it be known’

Metito, in his brief statement, said: “Let it be known that Metito will be on the ballot in 2022 and the Hustler Movement is unstoppable. Let it also be known that I have the support of 22 sitting and nominated MCAs in the County Assembly, who are our foot soldiers.”

Standing with Metito are MPs George Sunkuyia (West), Joseph Manje (North), Janet Teyiaa (Women’s Representative), and Senators Philip Mpaayei and Mary Seneta (Nominated).

In September, Deputy President William Ruto hosted a big delegation from Kajiado at his Karen home in Nairobi.

Judah Katoo ole Metito is Kajiado's senior politician could be the governor. Photo - KNU.
Judah Katoo ole Metito is Kajiado’s senior politician could be the governor. Photo – KNU.

After hosting them, Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko went ballistic against Ruto as he argued that the number two in the country had no respect for President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is against early campaigns.

Tobiko claimed DP Ruto was setting the county into early political campaigns against the wishes of the president, but his utterances were met with an equal fire from DP Ruto’s lieutenants led by Elgeyo Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

Tobiko, while in Narok around the same period, called Ruto a “mere clerk of the president”. Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen then hit back at the CS and asked him to first seek a position of an MCA.

But why has Metito’s announcement to oppose Lenku caused a lot of anxiety in Kajiado?

Kajiado, like it or not, is the home turf of two major clans that call the shots in the county’s politics.

Metito, from the elite Odomong’i clan, will be standing against a sitting Orokiteng’ clan governor.

Kilitia breathes fire on Lenku

Metito’s right-hand man Joshua Kilitia, while presiding over a fundraiser in Isinet to help a former university student clear college fees, made an unprecedented attack on Lenku: “It is better to assist an emaciated cow to stand on its knees than helping a human being.”

In a trending video clip of the fundraising event, Kilitia is heard talking about newiki (a women shuka/leso that is only worn for one week before it is discarded).

Kilitia in the clip claims Metito made Lenku be what he is today.

“Metito took Lenku to Tanathi Board and gave him a job. Later, he took him to President Uhuru Kenyatta, and Lenku was made Interior CS. Finally, Metito and Kenyatta supported him to be governor.”

He claimed the governor cannot hold to friends and he is using his supporters like the newiki after getting what he wants.

Governor Joseph ole Lenku with Ken Parashina on the right. He is favouring Parashina for Kajiado South parliamentary seat.
Governor Joseph ole Lenku with Ken Parashina on the right. He is favouring Parashina for Kajiado South parliamentary seat.

Kilitia claimed the governor, on being elected, decided to “eat” and forgot the people who made him what he is.

“You have been elected to serve the people, and not to go there and open your mouth to eat while those who elected you suffer,” said Kilitia.

Ken Parashina

It is claimed Metito was irked by Lenku’s move to support Ken Parashina, County Planner, to oppose him as Kajiado South MP in 2022.

Metito did not deny or confirm the same but he admitted that he has a list of politicians who will be supported by his party in the next general election.

“We have our people. I have a person for the Kajiado South seat, in particular, that cannot be Parashina. We are also going to sponsor MCAs and all other candidates allied to us for all the elective positions in Kajiado,” said Metito.

The MP, who did not attack Lenku throughout our interview, said the change of leadership was unstoppable.

Those supporting MP Metito claim 30 per cent of the Orokiteng’ community clan in Kajiado South Sub-County will vote for him.

Former Kajiado governor David ole Nkedianye.
Former Kajiado governor David ole Nkedianye.

It is also claimed the MP has 100 per cent support of the entire Kikuyu community living in his constituency. In addition, all his clan members (Odomong’i) will not forsake their own.

The big equation

Already, former National Transport and Safety Authority boss Francis Meja, former governor David Nkedianye, Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, and former Olkejuado county council chairman Tarayia ole Kores, have all declared they will vie for governor.

Interestingly, they are all from the Odomong’i Maasai clan. It is also important to note that all the Maasai elected MPs in Kajiado are from the same clan.

Among those seeking the position of governor in 2022 are university graduates. Meja, Metito, Tobiko have master’s degrees in their various specialities, while Nkedianye has a doctorate degree.

Other than Metito, all the other candidates including Lenku are allied to the “handshake” side of the Jubilee Party.

Tobiko, Meja, Nkedianye, and Kores claim they are hunting for the best candidate among them to take on Lenku and whoever else joins the race in 2022.

Former NTSA bos Francis Meja.
Former NTSA bos Francis Meja.

It is also claimed that in the case of a stalemate caused by their failure to agree, an electoral college will be created to handle the matter.

Maasai voting in sub-counties

Depending on who will be on the Kieleweke side of the political divide in the gubernatorial race in 2022, which of course will be from the dominant clan, Metito and Lenku will have to play their cards closer to their chests.

If Metito manages to win the competition within the Odomong’i side to remain its sole candidate, Lenku will have to fight tooth and nail to recapture his seat.

Pundits say 70 per cent of the voting bloc in Kajiado West is from the Odomong’i. In Kajiado South, 40 per cent forms the Odomong’i bloc, while in Central 40 per cent is also from this clan.

In such a scenario, Metito will give Lenku a run for his money.

While the next general election is still far off, Kajiado politics keeps changing by the hour, and much water may have passed under the bridge before the time comes.

Lenku’s reaction

Following Metito’s declaration, a section of residents supporting Lenku has come out to poke holes into the former’s four-term tenure as Kajiado South MP.

Peris Pesi Tobiko.
Peris Pesi Tobiko.

They claimed the MP oversaw the closure of the famous Imbirrikani healthcare mobile clinic because it was benefiting outsiders more than the local community.

“This led to the closure of the hospital, but thanks to the governor, the facility was reopened close to 11yrs after its American sponsors left the country,” said John Mashua.

Sports

Some of the residents further claimed that when Metito was Minister for Internal Security, he proposed the construction of a prison in Loitokitok on county council land set aside for a recreation centre, against the wishes of the youth.

The space was also meant to provide for a modern library, football stadium, rugby pitch, and athletics field.

Water

Lenku’s supporters claimed the MP ignored or failed to revive the Nol-Turesh water project to help the residents of Loitokitok town, and allowed cartels to impoverish the residents by hiking prices of the commodity.

“Since the inception of the Nol-Turesh water project until recently, residents of Loitokitok have never enjoyed that water,” claimed Mashua.

Education

During Metito’s tenure of almost 18 years in leadership, there are no new primary or secondary schools which he constructed in Upper Belt all the way from Rombo to Entonet.

Some schools like Kikelelwa Primary School that were constructed in the late 1960s are falling into disuse, yet he has been in power this long.

Infrastructure

He has been enjoying a good relationship with President Kenyatta from 2013 to date, but there is nothing on the ground to show or for the residents of Loitokitok to celebrate him for being an ally and a point man of the president.

“In addition, the residents of Loitokitok town have been wondering how he proposed the construction on the Ksh1.6 billion sewer line project yet there was no water to operate the sewer,” said Jeremiah Kinyanjui.

 

 

 

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