We’ll form our political party, 14 pastoral counties declare

Some of the members of pastoralist parliamentary group led by group president Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow (centre) have resolved to form a new political outfit. [PHOTO: BRUNO MUTNGA/STANDARD]
Leaders from 14 counties in pastoral areas have resolved to form their own political party ahead of next year's General Election.

The political leaders said they would form the party for those seeking elective seats to vie under. The resolution was made yesterday at the end of a three-day meeting dubbed 'Pastoralist Leadership Summit (PLS)' at a national reserve lodge in Isiolo.

Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow said in a statement; “Members of the Pastoralist Leadership Summit resolved to form a political party as a vehicle that will be used for election in 2017 by the national and county leadership."

The statement further reads; “The members agreed after lengthy deliberation that it is necessary to secure an independent platform for advancing the common political interest and aspiration of the pastoralist people in Kenya.’’

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In his stop-over in Isiolo town after opening the summit on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked residents to remain in Jubilee Alliance Party, adding that his administration has started developing the region. He asked the leaders to support his party since no previous government has made prominent appointments from the region more than his administration.

The group yesterday added that the executive committee members had been mandated to ‘immediately execute this decision without delay’.

Counties under the umbrella of PLS include Isiolo (the summit host), Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Tana-River and Samburu. Others are Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Narok, Kajiado and Laikipia.

Marketing plan

The event was attended by five governors, seven senators, 70 MPs, county assembly speakers and a host of MCAs.

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The name of the political outfit, when it would be launched, whether it would be part of existing coalitions or if the members would gun for presidency, they said would be decided before 2017.

The Governors present were Godana Doyo (URP, Isiolo), Ukur Yattani (ODM, Marsabit), Nathif Jama (ODM-K, Garissa), Hussein Dado (ODM-K, Tana-River) and Moses Lenolkulal (URP, Samburu).

Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, who is also patron of the summit was present. Mr Dado said, ‘’Pastoralists occupy more than 80 per cent of land in the country and we also have the numbers.’’

He said the party will work with other communities and parties to realise its desired goals. Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton (ODM) said; “This is a good idea and I fully support the move.”

The summit also agreed that a comprehensive national livestock marketing plan be initiated where the president directed that a board be created.

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2017 general electionsenator billow kerrowpastoralism