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Opinion: NASA forays into Narok inconsequential

COMMENTARY
By OLIVER MWENDA | February 22nd 2017
Recent forays by the Opposition alliance into Narok, declaring the county an opposition zone, are misguided. In 2013, Jubilee took many seats in the County Assembly and parliamentary election. It bagged 13 out of the 30 electoral county seats PHOTO:COURTESY.

The election of Samuel ole Tunai as the Governor of Narok County gave rise to a new political order, signifying the emergence of “new thinking” among the Maasai community on the need for fresh leadership in a county considered an ODM stronghold.

Recent forays by the Opposition alliance into Narok, declaring the county an opposition zone, are misguided. In 2013, Jubilee took many seats in the County Assembly and parliamentary election. It bagged 13 out of the 30 electoral county seats.

What is of concern however is the populist agenda being employed to whip up negative emotions among the Maasai community.

The issue of Mau forest remains a matter of national importance that requires a sober approach, keeping in mind interests of settlers in the forest and conservation.

A sober approach is equally required when debating and implementing the Truth Justice and Reconciliation report. The Land injustices suffered by the Maasai community are under the purview of the National Land Commission.

The commission is competently capable of addressing these matters by following the due process of the law. The essence of our democracy is fidelity to the rule of law; this is sacrosanct irrespective of one’s political persuasion.

Across the world, we are witnessing a disruption in the political order in many democracies, but worryingly, these disruptions are caused by populism. The US watched as a populist leader was elected.

In Narok County, we won’t stand by and watch leaders trumpet populist agenda just to solicit votes and dupe the Maasai community. Narok County is benefiting immensely from the development projects initiated in the county.

The Standard Gauge Railway, under Phase 2, will not only open up the county and provide access to markets for our farmers and livestock herders; it will also significantly reduce the cost and time needed to access the region for passengers and freight from the Mombasa Port. Under the Jubilee administration, 42,000 households in the county have been connected to electricity compared to 8,700 under the previous administrations.

Under the Multi Million Street Lighting programme initiated by the national government, Sh69 million has been used to light Narok town, Sh48 million and Sh21 million in lighting Kilgoris and Lolgorian town centres respectively.

The President will be commissioning the Sh2 billion 82km Narok-Sekenani Gate road that has remained neglected by previous administrations. The Government has committed Sh1.2 billion to build two bypasses that would decongest Narok town in Rotian and Ewaso Nyiro.

Tenders have been floated for the construction of The Mau Narok-Kisiriri (Mwisho wa Lami) road in Narok North, which is expected to change the fortune of the area.

A lot can be said of the achievement recorded under the Jubilee administration, at the local and county level. As residents of Narok, we have endured regimes that hurt the very people they claimed to struggle for. That ended with the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

The Maasai community need not be reminded of the challenges we endure. We need leaders who can proffer solutions to our predicaments. Granted, there is no doubt that the people in Narok county deserve better healthcare, roads, and schools.

This is work in progress, the fortune of the county cannot be changed in just four years, and this is why the Jubilee administration deserves another term to complete its development agenda in the county.

Leaders from past have come to Maasai land and urged the community to vote for Raila Odinga as he represents change.

This time the community will try a new way under the Jubilee leadership. New goals come with new leadership. The Maasai community is tired of empty rhetoric. The community requires outside-the-box thinkers.

 

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