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Why Maasai are warming up to NASA

COMMENTARY
By Moitalel ole Kenta | February 25th 2017

I read with consternation an assertion by a Narok County staff, Oliver Mwenda, (Standard, February 22) that Opposition’s forays in Maasailand are inconsequential ahead of the August elections. First, Governor Samuel Tunai’s functionary is the wrong person to give a blanket view on Narok politics because he does not seem to understand an iota of dynamics that determine election choices in Maasailand.

Any hawk-eyed political analyst privy to the emerging Maasai politics will tell you Maasai land is no longer at ease within Jubilee. The governor is quoted elsewhere declaring that Narok is not a swing vote as pundits have classified it, and reiterated that it is a Jubilee zone. Nothing can be further from the truth. To begin with, although Jubilee won all top county seats and all but one MP seat, it only won 13 of 30 MCA seats in 2013. This outcome can only be explained by the swing vote that comes from the surging immigrant voters from Jubilee leaning regions.

Further statistics show Raila Odinga beat Uhuru Kenyatta in Narok after polling 118,623 votes against 109,413 votes. Kenyatta only beat Raila in Kilgoris and Emurrua Dikkir constituencies and lost to the opposition in Narok North, East, West and South.

In neighbouring Kajiado, Raila polled 117,856 votes against Kenyatta’s 138,851, pipping him in Kajiado Central and Kajiado East. Overall, Kenyatta beat Raila by a mere 11,785 votes in both counties, meaning they shared the spoils. A statistical approach to the scores reveals the number of votes Kenyatta garnered in both counties is almost equal to the number of registered immigrants in the counties. My hypothesis is that more than 90 per cent of indigenous Maasai in the two counties voted for Raila.

I appreciate Narok County Government’s political hirelings have confirmed NASA is making forays in the region. Saying it is inconsequential can only be equated to the proverbial ostrich that buried its head in the sand.

The political direction of the Maasai has begun to take a decisive path. This is the path to ditch Jubilee for the Opposition due to issues that have rattled the nerve centre of the Maasai ’s political and economic well-being.

I begin with political exclusion of the Maasai in the affairs of the national and county governments. Some top Jubilee leaders have isolated majority of elected leaders and chosen to work with a few. I will first cite the sacking of two Principal Secretaries from Narok who initially represented the community at the high decision making levels.

Jubilee has little national projects it can say have changed life for the Maasai. Time has come for the community to seek political solace elsewhere.

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