There seems to be no end in sight to embattled Kajiado governor Joseph Ole Lenku’s woes in the wake of an emerging alliance bringing together political opponents determined to unseat him in 2022.
This comes hot on the heels of yet another major political setback, when rebel close associates and cut their links with the governor to throw their lot with a new formation orbiting around his predecessor David Nkedianye and outspoken Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko.
Political leaders opposed to William Ruto’s Tanga Tanga outfit ahead of the 2022 transition critically headline Lenku’s foremost opposition even as he battles wide ranging accusations of poor service delivery, corruption and skewed allocation and sharing of public resources.
Lenku associates himself with Ruto and his Tanga Tanga divide of the Jubilee party essentially opposed to the March 9 2018 truce between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
Leading the pack of the governor’s critics are Tobiko, Nkedianye, nominated senator Mary Seneta, former area senator Peter Mositet, Kajiado Central MP Kanchory Memusi, former Nairobi county assembly speaker Alex Magelo and Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia, all known critics of a Ruto presidency.
The Jubilee cast of Tobiko, Mositet and Magelo has particularly sent feelers of a political deal that may see them unite behind one of them to dethrone the beleaguered governor come 2022, with the Kajiado East legislator – codenamed Iron Lady – clearly emerging as the group’s de facto leader.
Only MPs Joseph Manje of Kajiado North and his Kajiado South counterpart Ketoo Ole Metito appear to have distanced themselves with the Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke factions of Jubilee, essentially panning out as neutrals as the political rift widens by the day.
Others said to be scheming separately for the Lenku Waterloo include former Olkejuado county council boss Taraiya ole Kores and prominent businessman Antony Keen, son of departed political heavyweight John Keen.
Kores and the younger Keen are wealthy individuals capable of mounting earth- shaking campaigns. Kores made an unsuccessful stab at the governorship in 2017, paling his high profile 2013 bid that only scuttled by controversy over his university qualifications.
Like Mositet before him, Kores contends top Jubilee leadership rammed Lenku and Philip Mpaayie down Kajiado county’s throat as governor and senator respectively, sentiments other political class has variously supported.
On his part, Antony is not new to the political arena in this semi-arid region, having unsuccessfully sought to replace former Internal Security minister George Saitoti in Kajiado North after his death in a fatal plane crash in 2012.
Earlier, MCAs from Kajiado North and Kajiado East led the anti-Lenku onslaught when they took turns to poke holes in the governor’s alleged insensitivity and misplaced priorities. Other sins Lenku has reportedly committed include nepotism and favouritism, divisive clannism, slashing of the wards’ fund from Sh45 million to Sh30 million and grand corruption.
Memusi recently challenged the governor to explain how he could manage to acquire huge swathes of land in a short span estimated to cost Sh300 million when his monthly salary is Sh800,000.
When all is said and done, the race to cast Lenku in the one-term governor infamy, is on in earnest with a crowded field certain to torment the former Interior CS to monumental proportions.