Governor aspirant vows to defy elders, go it alone


Prisons Department Inspector, Siyad Kithiye Salat. [Courtesy]

While politicians are falling over themselves to seek the endorsement of clan elders, one man has decided to chart his own destiny.

Siyad Kithiye Salat, an inspector in the Prisons Department, believes clanism and involvement of elders in choosing leaders have contributed to under-development of the region.

Elders in North Eastern region are deemed powerful that aspirants seek validation from them to vie for elective seats.

There, however, have been claims that the elders favour wealthy politicians.

The elders also play a key role in negotiating for better coalitions with other clans.

The elders have also been involved in the day-to-day running of the devolved units, they lobby for recruitment of employees as well as settle political disputes.

“It’s time to chart our own paths rather than seek clan endorsement. We must change the narrative to issue-based campaigns,” he told The Standard.

He alleged that Garissa had returned to old days where residents relied solely on water trucks that charged exorbitant rates for the commodity. He said this was one of the things he would change if elected.

Mr Salat said the essence of devolution was to ensure funds are devolved to the grassroots, and for locals at the sub-county and village level to decide their priorities.

“We have so many problems just because people are not involved in development projects and funds are not devolved but mismanaged by the elite, resulting in underdevelopment,” he said.

He said if given a chance, he will put in place mechanism and structures that will uplift the youth and vulnerable groups so as to take part in nation-building.

Allocation of ward funds, he said, would be his priority so that people at ward level are consulted on development matters. This way, he said, the spirit of devolution would be realised.

“Leaders should have integrity, experience and should always be truthful. They should also have the people’s interest at heart. Currently, we have so many challenges including water, lack of economic empowerment strategy, poor health provision, all this can be solved with sound leadership,” he noted.

Asked how he wants to bankroll his campaign without financial muscle and elders, endorsement, he said he derives his strength from the youth across the clans, This group is thirsty for leadership change, he said.

Salat said not many people subscribe to clan and elders involvement in campaigns and elections

“People are anxious about leadership change and they only need someone that relates with their agenda, a vision that is not in line with clan ideologies but working towards improving their livelihood,” he added.

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