‘Negotiated democracy’ the likely way to go in Trans Nzoia
Posted Sunday, December 30 2012 at 22:00
- Sabaot have never had an elected MP and given their numerical inferiority, they are unlikely to get one of them elected to a key position in the county hence their push for creation of Endebess
Trans Nzoia is a cosmopolitan county with a complex mix of issues ahead of the 2013 elections.
Top on the list is ethnic relations, especially between the majority Bukusu and the minority Sabaot.
The two groups have over the years had a love-hate relationship that regularly explodes into bloody violence during elections leading to deaths and destruction of property.
It is not surprising therefore that ahead of the elections, the idea of negotiated democracy between the two is gaining currency.
One of the big grouses has been that the Sabaot have never had an elected MP and given their numerical inferiority, they are unlikely to get one of them elected to a key position in the county.
It is for this reason that they pushed for the creation of Endebess constituency which was hived off Kwanza.
But the race for this area will still be interesting to watch given the fact that the Bukusu still form a significant voting bloc here and if any party fields a member of the group, it will seriously challenge for the seat.
Sabaot leaders from across the political divide are hoping that not only should this seat be reserved for them but also that through talks they will get representation in other positions.
Mr Pius arap Kauka, the Kitale deputy mayor says: “The new constituency will help solve the animosity that has for long been witnessed between the two communities during electioneering period.”
Ms Jenifer Masis, an aspirant seeking the Wiper Democratic Movement ticket, says the seat should be reserved for the Sabaot.
Sabaot leaders and aspirants from across the political divide are negotiating a pre-election agreement with Ford Kenya with a view to clinching other county seats.
Mr Kauka, the ODM chairman, Mrs Masis and United Republican Party’s Philip Sakong are spearheading the talks with Ford Kenya.
Mr Kauka said they had decided to work with the party because its leader, Mr Moses Wetangu’la, was the only one who has given them a hearing on forming a pre-election pact.
“We Sabaots believe that when we work closely with Ford Kenya we will have our interests taken care of because other parties have dismissed our negotiations,” he told the Nation.
Mr Sakong, a civic leader in the area, said that the pre-election pact is very essential to avert post-election chaos.
With the new national alliances, Ford-K has become a major player in Trans Nzoia, just like in neighbouring Bungoma which has an almost similar Bukusu-Sabaot demographic mix.
Ford-K is in the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) alliance together with ODM and Wiper Democratic Movement.
Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa’s New Ford Kenya is another significant player, as is William Ruto’s URP which is in the Jubilee alliance.