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Why the entry of Farah Maalim into Garissa township politics maybe his last quiver in his stock of political arrows

By M Ina Adhad | January 7th 2016

The last weeks have seen frenzied activity and heightened competition between Hon. Farah Maalim and House Majority leader Hon. Aden Duale.

I have watched the online spat and political chess playing between supporters of both camps. While it's instructively quite early to make any predictions, there are salient points that could shed light as to who could emerge the victor.

Farah Maalim, the former MP for Lagdera is a respected son of the North East and so is Majority Leader, Aden Duale. This will go down as one of the most tightly fought political battles among the two political giants. Although Farah Maalim has been in politics since 1992, Duale has navigated the shark infested political waters quite well for a man of his ilk.

Duale has been in politics since 2007. In a span of eight years, his political star has risen and he is now effectively third in command and bestrides the North Eastern political scene like a colossus.

Give it to him, some people may not like his abrasive style, but with that comes a sense of straight forwardness and straight talking, a rare gene in the increasingly unpredictable political brass that exists in Kenya, with politicians increasingly becoming expedient and shifty as the situation demands.

Hon. Farah on the other hand, just like Duale is a straight shooter, but alas his sobriety and political acumen has withered in the political wilderness of the official Opposition, CORD. Had he crafted properly his political life, Hon. Farah would have easily been a political king pin, hob nobbing with the top notch political class of Kenya.

Sometimes it's the place and position that matters. As far as Garissa Township is concerned, Duale has a vast labyrinth of political networks and has the agility and political smoothness to withstand Farah's onslaught. He comes from a business family and has the connections, channels and arteries that would give him the methods to smother the efforts of Hon Maalim.

The fact that Farah stood for the senatorship position and has now set his sights on Township, is in itself a sort of changing of tact. I don't know what has informed him that he can wrestle the township seat, while he wasn't able to make headway in the senatorial contest of 2013.

Removing an incumbent MP like Duale, a Jubilee top honcho could prove a tall order for Maalim.

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