By NJ Correspondent:
The Garre council of Elders and their selected candidates for top Mandera County elective posts have today sent a warning shot to the ruling Jubilee party regarding party nominations.
In a move seen as a show of might, the group famously known as Team Tokkuma (unity) held a mammoth meeting at Sir Ali Muslim club in Nairobi where they discussed their next move as chances of landing direct nominations from the ruling party dwindles by the day.
Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow, a proponent of the clan negotiated democracy said Jubilee was taking the county for granted even after overwhelmingly voting for them in the last elections.
“As supporters of the Garre Council of Elders, we cannot allow ourselves to be disrespected. Let the president and his deputy not be duped by those peddling lies that they have the support of the people of Mandera,” Mr Kerrow told journalists, a statement reportedly directed at the rival team led by Governor Ali Roba who defied the verdict of the elders.
Roba was dropped by the elders alongside all elected MPs and MCAs in favor of a new crop of candidates led by former administrator Hassan Noor Hassan as the gubernatorial nominee.
Most of the county’s elected candidates were elected on Deputy President William Ruto’s URP party which has since merged with President Uhuru’s TNA to form the Jubilee party.
Both sides however failed to agree on party official slots in the county as each side tried to out-muscle the other.
The two sides also held separate talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto in a bid to secure majority stake in the party official list. The elders’ affiliated side reportedly favored direct nominations for their candidates, a decision the top two may have seen as risky to guarantee since the Roba led side has also put up stiff resistance.
Kerrow is however now blaming Deputy President Ruto for their woes accusing him of interfering with Mandera politics.
He said while the county boasts of over 170,000 votes, the Roba led side will not be able to deliver more than 10%.
“Those who are opposed to the elders are only three leaders led by the governor. The others are with the verdict. They cannot bring even 10 per cent of votes. Ninety per cent of votes are in the hands of the elders,” he observed.
Kerrow also dragged the National Intelligence Service (NIS) into the matter saying it was is engrossed in spreading propaganda instead of contrary to its mandate.
“The work of NIS is not to spread propaganda. NIS in Mandera is involved in writing propaganda claiming that Ali Roba has 70 per cent of elders’ support. The president should know that he has no intelligence,” he said.
Kerrow’s call was echoed by the Garre Council of Elders chairman Haji Ali said the decision by the elders was consultative.
The chairman gave Jubilee a one-week ultimatum to respect their decision failure to which they will decamp ahead of the August 2017 polls.
The elders endorsed Hassan Noor warned the ruling party that the county was behind the elders and will vote where they decide.
He said locals elect individuals regardless of their party and exuded confidence that they will lead the Garre community and Mandera at large to where they were welcome.
“Before Jubilee there were other parties like Narc. So party is not the issue. We are not tied to the party and our 98 per cent cannot be taken for granted,” he warned.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Governor Nominee Abass Maalim, senate nominee Hassan Osman, current deputy governor and a section of Murulle elders.