Political dynasties entrench themselves

Political dynasties have become a fairly permanent feature in Kenyan politics and this year’s election is not without its long list of members of the same family seeking electoral office.

Top in the list is the Moi family where three siblings will be seeking seats in the Tenth parliament. They are the incumbent Baringo Central MP, Mr. Gideon Moi, and elder brothers Jonathan and Raymond.

Gideon will be defending his seat on a yet to be decided political party. Gideon went to parliament on a Kanu ticket in the last election, taking over from his father, retired President Moi, who had been the area MP since independence. At the time, the Moi family was hell bent to have Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta succeed President Moi on a Kanu ticket.

A lot of water has since passed under the bridge. Uhuru has abandoned Kanu in all but name to join the new outfit, the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) and is determined to have a second go at the presidency on the new party’s ticket.

The Moi family, on the other hand, has not been very keen; in fact has been quite hostile to ODM. The senior Moi, indeed, has not wasted any opportunity to castigate the new outfit and has been urging his supporters to keep faith with Kanu. Gideon, like his father, feels that any move to dissolve Kanu or subordinate it to any other party is simply unacceptable.

Gideon’s other sibling, Raymond, has declared his interest in the Rongai parliamentary seat in Nakuru district but he, too, is yet to decide on which party. The Rongai seat is currently held by Mrs. Alicen Chelaite, who made it on a Narc ticket and is an assistant minister in the Kibaki government. Interestingly, Chelaite is the one who brought up the Moi siblings when she worked as a house help for the then Vice President Moi in the seventies.

The oldest of the Moi boys, Jonathan, unlike his siblings, has already settled on Narc-Kenya as the vehicle through which he will attempt to unseat Eldama ravine MP Musa Sirma.

Jonathan actually has a head start, having been the favourite candidate in 2002 election, only to be prevailed upon not to contest by his father. At the time, Moi threw his weight behind Sirma who clinched the seat with ease. The balance has since tilted in favour of Jonathan after Sirma “defected” to ODM to the chagrin of the elder Moi. The former president is reportedly sponsoring candidates in all constituencies where sitting MPs have gone ODM-Kenya.

Other members of the extended Moi family in this year’s race include Jim Choge, a son-in-law, who will be defending his Aldai seat, and Gen. (rtd) Augustine Cheruiyot, also related to Moi by marriage, who will be vying for a parliamentary seat in Nandi.

The Kenyattas too, will be in this years’ race in a big way. Uhuru will vie for the presidency again and is hedging his bet on mustering the largest number of delegates should the contest be determined by the delegates’ vote.

But even as Uhuru prepares to make another stab at the presidency, he faces a major hurdle at the constituency level where his first cousin, Mr. Ngengi Muigai, is going for his political jugular. Ngengi, a one-time MP for the larger Gatundu constituency, has what it takes to unseat Uhuru in the Gatundu South seat. Besides his personal good chemistry with the electorate, Ngengi could also capitalize on the propaganda that Uhuru is being used by “outsiders” to fight President Kibaki in his Mount Kenya backyard. That was the line played to ensure Orange vote lost in Uhuru’s constituency despite winning with a landslide countrywide. Indeed, Ngengi is well positioned to politically embarrass Uhuru at home, whatever good intentions the rest of the country may have for the son of the late president.

Away from Gatundu, Ngengi’s sister, Mrs. Beth Mugo, will be seeking to retain her Dagoretti where she is sitting rather pretty. She was among the founders of Narc-Kenya and has served as one of the party’s rotational chairpersons.

President Kibaki’s relatives will also be featuring in this election. Ms. Mary Wambui, who has been linked to the president under controversial circumstances, is said to be eyeing the Nyeri Town seat, currently held by Mr. Peter Gichohi Mureithi.

Another Kibaki link in this year’s elections is Alex Kibaki Mureithi’s younger brother, John, who is eyeing laikia west seat at present held by Mr. G.G. Kariuki. Alex is busy behind the scenes networking and fund-raising for Kibaki’s re-election.

The Odinga family’s icon is Raila, whose sights are firmly trained on the presidency. His wife Ida, a seasoned political activist in her own right, si said to be planning a debut into electoral politics by contesting the Rarieda parliamentary seat. The seat is currently held by cabinet minister Raphael Tuju, who is widely regarded as having committed political suicide by openly taking on the Odingas in Luo Nyanza.

Raila’s elder brother, Oburu, will be defending his Bondo seat. So will another half a dozen MPs in Luo Nyanza who are related to the Odingas in one way or the other.

And of course, the Nyagah family is at it again with the elder son Joseph going all out to keep his Gachoka seat as well as try a shot at the presidency under the banner of some ambiguous outfit called the Green African Party. Younger brother Norman will be desperately hanging on to his Kamukunji seat in the face of a determined onslaught fuelled by alleged mishandling of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) kitty.

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One Response to Political dynasties entrench themselves

Anonymous said...

get your facts right...