Lenku's dalliance with UDA leaders ends MCAs rivalry in Kajiado

President William Ruto meets Governors Patrick Ole Ntutu (Narok) and Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado) during a past event in Narok. [PCS, Standard]

The ongoing bipartisan talks between allies of President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga seem to have calmed rival political camps in Kajiado County.

After months of bickering, UDA and Azimio MCAs are now in talks over issues affecting the county government.

The two camps have been embroiled in political battles that led to the impeachment of Education and Vocational Training CEC Jeremiah Ole Ncharo. The matter has since moved to court.

UDA which is the majority in the assembly has been giving Governor Joseph ole Lenku (Azimio) sleepless nights.

The governor has also been having a lukewarm relationship with Speaker Justus Ngussur who was being accused of holding brief for the national government.

Last year the UDA MCAs shot down Lenku's proposal to allocate Sh100 million for livestock off-take programmes to cushion farmers from the effects of drought.

The MCAs also rejected three CEC nominees, former Nkaimurrunya MCA Waichanguru Ndirangu, Revenue Director Janet Sereu and a Ms Njeri from Kajiado North.

But these fights seem to have fizzled out after the governor started attending events presided over by President Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

Gachagua has particularly showered Lenku with praises in public, the latest being in Ngong last weekend during the thanksgiving ceremony of Forestry Principal Secretary Ephantus Kimotho.

The seemingly close relationship between the President, DP and the governor has seen four UDA ward representatives pledge alliance to Lenku.

"I am a diplomatic leader who appreciates both sides of the assembly. We can't afford to fight forever. We have agreed in many of our meetings that our people come first and thus we must fast-track development," said the governor.

MCAs who have joined Lenku's camp are Deputy Speaker Daniel Kukan (Imaroro MCA), Marush Kisemei( Oloosirikon Sholinke), Maina Mutiga (Nkaimurrunya) and Titus Matheka( Ongata Rongai).

The clearest indicator that the animosity between UDA and Azimio MCAs has ended was the approval of fresh CEC nominees.

The governor seems to have struck a political deal with UDA leaders and nominated Judy Pere as Trade and Enterprise Development CEC. Ms Pere was running mate to UDA governor candidate Katoo Metito in the 2022 General Election.

Lenku also reintroduced Ms Sereu's name and replaced Mr Waichanguru with Dr Jackton Achola from Olkeri ward.

Sereu who hails from Magadi was retained to represent local women from marginalized areas.

Although the Committee chaired by Speaker Ngussur is yet to table its report on the vetting of the three, sources within the assembly said that the exercise was a formality as the two sides had agreed to approve all the names.

Senator Samuel Seki, a Lenku critic, was the first to congratulate him for nominating a UDA member.

"We are grateful at the governor's recognition of UDA members as stakeholders in his government. He has started to see the light," said Sekin during the function attended by Gachagua in Ngong.'

Minority Leader and Magadi MCA Isaac Kiresian said the UDA and Azimio camps have buried the hatchet.

"In politics, there are times you will sacrifice positions for the sake of the overall good. We have been in talks with the majority side and we have agreed we move forward together. We can only succeed together," said Kiresian

He said it has dawned on the UDA ward representatives that they have to work with the county government for them to deliver to their constituents.

"There are times you realize you have a mandate for the people who elected you. You realize endless squabbling is wasting your time and you have nothing to gain. Yet, time for delivery to your people is running out," he said.

Ndalalekutuk MCA John Loisa said: "Let's admit that we have one governor who is Joseph ole Lenku."

Kajiado North MP Onesmus Ngogoyo who is believed to have been among the leaders who brokered peace between the warring camps said: "Time for politicking is over, lets now embrace each other and work for the betterment of our people who elected us by the end of our term every leader will be answerable to the electorate."