Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities urged to shelve their presidential ambitions for other communities
Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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As the political scenario in the country continues to take diverse dimensions with presidential candidates tearing into each other, a section of political leaders from Trans Nzoia county have urged the two communities that have had a chance to lead this country to shelve their ambitions to give way to any other of the 42 tribes to battle for the seat.
In an exclusive interview with West FM in Kitale town, two civic leaders from Nzoia county council Geofrey Khisa of Saboti ward and Ishmael Masinde of Machewa said that aspirants from the Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities should be considerate of other communities that live in this country as far as leadership is concerned.
"When we bear in mind that this country is made up of more than 42 ethnic communities, we believe it could be wise enough for the Kalenjins who ruled this country for 24 years and the Kikuyu who are completing their 25 years of leadership to also have a rest and let the country elect a new president from the remaining communities that have not had a share of the biggest post of the land," said councilor Masinde.
The civic leaders pointed out the ongoing transition process of transforming the country into county governance whereby different communities living in respective counties should have equitable sharing and distribution of resources and leadership positions.
"How do you expect counties to share positions equitably among the communities living there yet the same cannot be reflected at national level where two communities are investing all that it takes to retain the power as the others remain like spectators," councilor Khisa noted.
CL Geofrey Khisa of Saboti speaking to West FM as his Machewa counterpart Ishmail Masinde during the interview.
They pointed out the inequitable distribution of resources and employment opportunities that has been going on within Trans Nzoia County which is seen by many people as a small Kenya.
Government parastatals within the county including Agricultural Development Corporation -ADC, KCC among others were said to have employed people from one or two communities in major positions as others were reduced to smaller jobs such as watchmen, casual laborers and messengers yet leaders from all communities living in the county are now calling for power sharing under the new constitution.
They have therefore, called for substantial change of face to be embraced in such institutions before the new constitution can also be implemented when the counties come in place after the next general elections.
The leaders further urged their fellow councilors within Nzoia county council to be keen enough as the campaigns for the seat of the chairman that was left vacant after the death of former chairman Samson Bunyasi continues.
They were urged to vet the pronounced aspirants for the seat so that they can vote for a credible chairman who will be able to fit in the shoes of the departed chair who served a historic longest period as a chair of a council in the history of the country.
"Let's not look at the political parties or wealth of the aspirants but look at their integrity and capability of running the council to greater heights," said councilor Khisa.
He at the same time urged senior politicians such as Members of Parliament and ministers from the region not to interfere with the election with an intention of influencing to have their supporters elected to the seat without caring if their prospective candidates have what it takes to take over the chair.
The council was embroiled in ugly scenes of councilors and hired goons fighting at the council offices during the last voting exercise where the late Bunyasi retained his seat.
Prominent politicians from a couple of rival political parties were said to have sponsored councilors in camps at different places as they lobbied to have one of the candidates from their party win the chairmanship and are said to have spend hundreds of thousands of shillings to accomplish such missions.
The date for elections to fill the vacant seat is yet to be announced despite ambitious councilors starting to form lobby groups to campaign for their aspirations to access the seat just less than a week after the late chair was laid to rest at his Ndalu home in Bungoma North district.
So far nine councilors have been said to be interested in the seat and have started doing underground consultations and campaigns for the same.
The nine include the current vice chairman Albert Chepkwony of Kaplamai ward, the finance chairman Peter Wekesa a.k.a QQ of Nabiswa ward, Andrew Kutitila of Sikhendu, John Khisa a.k.a St John of Matisi, Fredrick Kwanusu of Kwanza, Peter Makaya of Kimondo, Joash Kisiang'ani of Kinyoro, Ishmail Masinde of Machewa and Reuben Mudagala of Kiminini.
However, the campaigns are not yet been announced officially.