Isiolo: Kuti to defend seat on Azimio ticket

By James Kairu
With the clock fast ticking towards August 9 General Election, one region being closely watched is Isiolo County where heavyweights have declared interest in the governor’s seat currently held by Mohamed Kuti (pictured).
Already, Kuti has been endorsed by his Sakuye community to defend his seat.
He was endorsed by elders drawn from the 12 clans of the community to defend his seat after a two-day deliberation.
The elders from 10 electoral wards noted the governor deserves a second term, auguring he had done "tremendous work" towards transforming the lives of the people of Isiolo, and needs to accomplish his development agenda.
Led by their spokesman, Isack Kara, the elders bestowed their blessings, adding they would fully back Kuti.
"We have given him our blessings and the mandate to approach other ethnic communities for political support in order to ensure his bid is successful," said Kara.
"We are officially blessing our sole candidate Dr Kuti for his re-election bid and we will now move to seek alliances with other communities living in Isiolo such as Borana, Meru, Turkana, Samburu and Somali."  
But Kuti will have to face former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chief Executive, Halakhe Dida Waqo.
Waqo’s entry comes hot on the heel of that of Isiolo Woman Representative, Rehema Jaldesa who has been traversing the expansive county selling her 2022 gubernatorial bid.
What is complicating matters for Kuti is that elders from the Majority Karayu clan have already endorsed Waqo for the county’s top seat.
The over 300 Karayu clan elders drawn from all the ten wards of Isiolo County recently met at Mulata and resolved to front the former Anti-graft agency boss for the top seat.
They also resolved to ask former governor Godana Doyo, who hails from the Wajirda Clan of the Borana community, to back Waqo for the top seat.
Doyo was floored by Kuti in the 2017 General Election.
In the county, Karayu and Wajirda clans are the two most populous among the Borana, who are also the majority in Isiolo.
The elders from both clans will now seek the blessings from the umbrella Borana Council of Elders for their kin to be assured of support from all the five Borana community clans in the race against Kuti who comes from the minority Sakuye community but enjoys support from other minority ethnic groups.
The Borana community elders through the umbrella council of elders comprising five major clans usually rely on negotiated democracy as a way of sharing out political positions among themselves, in order to avoid a scenario where two or more candidates from the community clash for the same position, giving advantage to candidates from other less populous communities to ascend to power.
The Borana Council of Elders is now set to convene another meeting and decide who between Waqo and Doyo will be fronted to face Kuti, but most of them prefer Waqo.
Kuti was among the 25 governors who endorsed ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.
The others are Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Fahim Twaha (Lamu),  Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), James Ongwae (Kisii),Wyclliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Martin Wambora (Embu), Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), Anne Kananu (Nairobi), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), James Nyoro (Kiambu), Ali Korane (Garissa), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Wilbur Otichillo (Vihiga), Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira), Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado) and Dhado Godhana (Tana River). 

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