Garissa Township Constituency: the Devil’s Luck and the Destiny of Decimal Come 2017 Elections

By NepJournal October 29, 2016 20:41

Garissa Township Constituency: the Devil’s Luck and the Destiny of Decimal Come 2017 Elections

By Ali Sheikh – ADDIS ABABA:


As the political wind and the crack of dawn campaign surfaces in Kenya, Garissa County continues to impress the battle of political arithmetic where the tyranny of numbers is a matter of melody, much more than principles. Taking into account the historical preceding and the constitutional trajectory, Garissa County was positively accosted numerical increment of constituency since the last three and half decades.

In the past that is before 1982, Garissa district had only three constituencies; Garissa North, Garissa South and Garissa Central, and a nominated MP as an honorarium gift of then ruling party KANU.

The County, as luck would have it is the home of six constituencies; Garissa Township, Fafi, Dadaab, Balambala, Ijara and Lagdera. Garissa is the principal urban city in Northeastern region with nearly 640,000 people against 45,722 kilometer square according to Kenya census 2009. Although there are quite substantial corner tribes of diverse origin (Somalis and non-Somalis Kenyans) living in Garissa for commercial and residential reasons, the major tribes that take the shot in the county are; Abudwak, Awlyehan and Abdalle whose struggle for the political leadership in the County ever since stoked endless anxieties that sometimes succumbed to artificial casualties of conflicts.

The formula to succeed to the political echelon was so complex and soaked with intricate challenges.

The former Garissa Central or Dujis constituency seat was the figurative leadership testimony in the County. The first occupant of Dujis seat (read now Township) through election was ex-Hon Abdi Ares in the year 1967 and maintained to the acme for three consecutive terms (15 years). After Abdi Aress, Former Minister Hussein Maalim who was with Abdi Ares in his last term in the August House as a nominated MP took over from him in the year 1983 and hold it to the peak for four consecutive terms uninterruptedly. Not only that, he also, served various Ministerial posts and other political portfolios that follows the course. Right at the onset of Hussein Maalim’s political epoch in 1983, Dujis constituency began to-home a handful of aspirants that stacked up against him that seemingly unrelated a temporary political irritation.

The few who tried then mighty political king-maker of Garissa (Maendeleo) never had the chance to carry on their wishes beyond the nick, among them included; Abdikadir Tallie, Mohamed Ibrahim Futool, Joseph Marangu Mwambia and Noor Abdi Ogle to mention but a few.

As it ought to be, of which he quite often he did, the former Minister stumbled them down all, but the hopes for a trial was never been a finished game including the present day.  In the year 2003 the long serving Minister Maalim alias “Maendeleo” left the political stadium of Dujis once and for all. His son in-law who in a span of 5 years in the political arena transformed from broker-based family business with the first ever Majority Leader and the head of the Kenyan’s government business. Hon. Aden Duale the only no-nonsense and political go-getter in Northeastern Region replaced him with mightiest enthuse.

The Majority Leader, Hon Duale is now concluding his second term as a sitting MP. His opinionated fashions, as experience taught us was expressed in the maxim of his political burgeon and quite often it was not veiled from friends and foes.  In actual fact, Hon Aden wants to sustain the Garissa Township and he is enthusiastically eying the ballot day, just, but to unfurl his sensation to the August House for the third term.

Although his political slippery tongue and upfront behaviors might upset his political fans and other seasonal supporters, yet he demonstrated a good heart for his constituency with less or zero nepotism.

Garissa Township constituency as a matter of facts and fashion was politically “No-Touch-Zone” for the Abudwak clan. By default, this was the customary formula and the only factual pictogram of Garissa’s political distinctiveness, so to speak. Out of the six constituencies in Garissa County, the Abudwak clan is designated for three constituencies; Garissa Township (Dujis), Balambala and Fafi constituency. Whilst Awlyehan clan dominates fully two of the six constituencies in Garissa that includes; Dadaab and Lagdera, the sixth constituency is the famous Ijara—it’s predominately closed for Abdalla clan, all the three clans are the Ogaden progeny.

The “Innovative democracy”, so they called it, turn to be a preferred substitute for maximizing political contract in the county. As the anxieties persists on the part of the sitting MPs in Garissa County, new aspirants are “on their marks” to set going into the political business of the County in general. The most challenging positions within the County are the Gubernatorial, Senator, Women Representative and more so the Garissa Township seat. Except the latter, all other positions are electable across the six constituencies.

In the recent political campaigns and counter-campaigns, a political heavyweight from Awlyehan clan—the former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Farah Maalim affirmed his interest to strive for the township seat in which Hon Aden Duale is now the sitting MP. This didn’t come as a surprise to the Majority leader, but rather provoked to embark on a new political Renaissance to augment the trust of his already confident voters.

During his leadership as an MP of Garissa Township, Hon Aden Duale embraced major developmental leap that posed a historic challenge to his predecessors. Among others worth to be mentioned was the electrical power in Garissa Township. An electric grid and a network of synchronized power provider to the consumers that are connected to virtually every household in which the transmission and distribution system lines are under the national surveillance.

This was a big changeover from generator power feed in the County to national power grid. Hon Aden Duale took the chair of several fundraising campaigns to support various developmental activities both in the County and in the entire region. The most mentioned among the rest was the recent fundraising scheme for Garissa Islamic Madarasa that hit KSH 33 million and it was really the first of its kind that any politician in the region has ever done.

According to a December 2015 report of the National Board of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has named Kenya’s top Members of Parliament who managed well the development funds allocated in 2014/2015 financial year in which Garissa Township MP Hon Aden Duale appeared topmost list. Many of his voters lauded the news and without doubt it all comes in the red the inclusivity leadership style and impartiality nature of Hon Duale. Loads of the corner tribes in Garissa considered him a symbol of unity in the constituency and believed their pie share from the constituency resources will live to tell the tale in the likely event of re-electing of Aden Duale.

According to the Garissa County intellectuals and political pundit’s B-side talks, the former Deputy Speaker is a person who advocates foreign affairs and known for being a leading dove of political externalism. Some of his supporter’s flip side talks have it that Farah Maalim should find ways to slink into the foreign Cabinet Secretary instead of vying for the political representation seat of MP.

While some of the corner tribes in Garissa are already placing their fingers on their heart-tip in fear of Maalim’s intention to vie for Garissa Township seat. Mr. Farah, begin a veteran and political orator in the region, more often than not, his political opponent accused him of being warmonger and Tribalism actor. Some have blamed him for the recent conflict that burgeon between his paternal clan and that of his maternal clan in a Merri location near the Shanta-Abak, regrettably a big love-lost in which among the first casualties was his maternal cousin-abomination!

The recent public fracas of exchanging blows between the former deputy speaker Farah Maalim against Somalia Minister and a tribesman at a Nairobi hotel was one among the listless political wildness that already coiled back his voters for they believed according to the Kenyan proverb that goes; a man who uses force is afraid of reasoning.  Even though Garissa Township is politically a no-go-zone for Abudwak clan based on the past political trajectory, will it be an effortless political gamble for the former deputy speaker to try the Garissa Township seat? If he does, as others opinionate, Mr. Farah might be the subject of the African proverb that goes; if you close your eyes from the facts, you will learn through accidents.

Being the principal cosmopolitan city in the Northeastern region, Garissa Township by all standards deserves a forbearing and progressively cognizant leader who can preserve the power of parity among his voters.

Even supposing the fact that Hon Aden Duale and the former deputy speaker being the most telling politicians locking horns for the Township seat 2017, yet, there are significant other aspirants eying for the same contentious Township seat.

Among them are; Ambassador Siyad Osman Bereed alias “Ngamia”, Captain Abdi yare Mohamed Shide, Dr. Suley and Hassan Abdille to mention but few. With regards to Siyad Ngamia—he served diverse but senior political portfolio, including his last designation as a senior counselor in Pakistan. By way of identifying the Ambassador, he is from Abudwak clan and upholds a close familial lineage (sub-clan Reer Yahye) with the Majority Leader. Siyad Ngamia is aware of the fact that Abudwak clan elders approved Hon Aden Duale as the Abudwak flag bearer in Township constituency over what they called these days “negotiated Democracy”.

His divergent wish of going against the elders’ decisions didn’t surface out of emotions, but with notion, what is it? To unfold the logic behind the curtain, the Ambassador simply craves to cook a foundation for bargaining democratic with the Abudwak clan elders in particular. This was to hatch wholehearted pledges to hold on for the next general (2022) as the clan flag bearer for the township seat in the unlikely event of Hon Aden Deals uncompromised wish for early political retirement.

Secondly, Siyad Ngamia feels like to demonstrate a political wobble as a wake-up call to acquire Aden Duale’s bigger inclusivity and pertinent consideration in the next government in which political maximalist believe that Jubilee coalition will form the next government in a broad daylight.

If Duale takes for granted such pertinent regards as “trivial-trial” to walk over, he will certainly encounter a significant indentation from his voters. Otherwise Siyad Ngamia is a grateful and a man of concession, all he needs is just, but a “gentleman’s agreement” and I hope the Majority Leader undoubtedly will succumb to the ambassador’s relevant stipulations.

For Captain Abdi yare Mohammed Shide’s political doorway had just resurfaced into the site in the recent past, as a former Captain from Kenya Defense fraternity, Abdi yare tables his unshaken consistency to vie Garissa Township seat.  Captain Shide in his second significant job earlier, he served the Kenyan August House as a Sergeant-at-arm (8th and 9th Sessions). Afterwards, Captain Shide left the job following a bitter stroppy with his boss that ended up in a resentful of exchanging blows. Capt. Abdi yare by virtue of clan identity, he is Reer Guleed, a sub-clan of the larger Abudwak clan.

With reference to the recent outcome of the Abudwak “negotiated democracy” decision, the clan elders’ designated Balambala constituency for Reer Guleed sub-clan in which their approved candidate is already making the lash of pledges from his voters. Although Capt. Abdiyare Shide clutches a national position in the Amani National Congress (ANC) of Mudavadi, he fought to the blink until the ballot day. But he is not worried about numbers; rather he only wants to appear on the voting papers thus he worries not any sort of defeat.

His cheerfulness to the winning lot in the Township seat is nearly nil, but his hope of making up to the polling day is not just clogged. No matter how loud and long he woofs around.  Capt. Shide remains inconsequential to Hon Aden Duale as the defined flags bearer of the Abudwak clan of the Township seat.

The former deputy speaker’s internal political challenges are on the making negatively as the little known, Dr Mohamed Abdullahi Suley’s political rating scale went unprecedentedly high hike in the recent past, basically for two grounds; firstly, the indecent exchange blows impolitely initiated by the former Deputy Speaker a couple of weeks against the Kenya  Diplomatic Guest and The Federal Democratic Republic of Somalia Minister for Post and Telecommunication His Excellence Mr. Gelle Jaama Mursal and the subtle public opinion disposition that followed. Secondly, it’s the fact of tribal concerns; Mr. Gelle, shares the same tribal bond with Mr. Maalim but of different family tree. Minister Gelle’s Afgaab sub-clan is the largest among the nine sub-clans of the larger Awlyehan tribe, while Mr. Farah Maalim’s sub-clan is Turaa’ade (Turcade).

With regards to Awlyehan, the majority voters in Garissa Township are from the Afgaab sub-clan. Basically the Afgaabians were pissed off by the dastardly act of Mr. Farah Maalim against their honored kin in a public hotel.

According to the cultural politics of the Somalis, the political portfolio of a person is a social prestige of the entire kinship. For this reason Mr. The Farah Maalim’s indecent assault against the Kenya’s political Guest (Minister Gelle) severed an expository maltreatment to the entire Afgaab sub-clan and expedited a speedy withdrawal of their support by endorsing in favor of Dr Suley, which could put at risk, as the proverb goes; when a leader changes mood, followers change the place of their abode. Now, Mr. Farah’s perceived votes in his would-be political triumph in Garissa Township seat come 2017 are taking a nosedive rim. For Aden Duale, the rest three candidates vying for the Garissa Township seat has been just a walkover, but the former Deputy Speaker is not an easy to blush off for defeat and needs carefulness as he can bear out to be a thorn in the flesh for the Majority Leader’s winning game come 2017.

Even though the old history may not be at work currently, in that, the last general election disproved the Abudwak’s concept of single majority myth, because the County Governor and the Women Representative in the County went to the Awlyehan clan.

That being the fundamental bases, it is politically reasonable with regards to the Awlyehan to develop the insatiable appetite for the Garissa Township seat.

The winning formula for the Awlyehan was not the fact of arithmetical majority in votes but with ultimate clan unity. Grapevine analysis has it that Farah Maalim is taking control of non-Somali Kenyans, mainly the CORD coalition sympathizers as well as the non-Ogaden corner tribes (Degodia, Garre and others of Darood lineage) who believed with Farah on the leadership a true pan-Somalism will be borne.

What is more, Farah Maalim is one among the Northeastern Region leaders whose unquenchable love for greater Somalia was far more biddable with any other political principle throughout his political life, thus it’s possible for him to garner large voters particularly those who share with him Pan-Somalism agenda hence, this can put Hon Aden Duale on the losing end. It’s thou reasonable to suggest that Farah Maalim is more of great Pan-Somalism than great Kenyan-ism, because Somalia issues matters him much more than his immediate responsibilities be it in his own County or Country.

The writer is a political Analyst in the Horn of Africa and be reached at

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By NepJournal October 29, 2016 20:41

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Marching in solidarity with Mogadishu attack victims in Nariobi.

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