At least seven aspirants have risen to compete with assistant minister Yuda Katoo ole Metito for the Kajiado South parliamentary seat. Mr Metito went to Parliament in 2003 after a by-election following the death of Mr Geoffrey Parpai.
The constituency in the South Rift is a popular tourist destination as it is home to the Amboseli Game Reserve, tourist hotels, lodges and sanctuaries. It is rich in production of beans and maize as well as livestock. Kajiado South has more than 54,000 registered voters. Mr Metito will be competing for the Narc Kenya nomination with Mr Joseph Nkadayo. In ODM-K, Mr Joel Leshao, Mr Robert Saidimu, Mr Richard Oloitiptip and Mr Gideon Solonka will be competing for the ticket.
A tour operator Mr Jackson Kisimir is running on a Kanu ticket. Mr Paul Ntiati is yet to announce his party of choice. Mr Nkadayo, a civil engineer, recently resigned from the Civil Service to contest the seat. He also vied in 2003 and lost to Mr Metito. Mr Leshao, who was the Isiolo District Education Officer, also resigned to run.
The Kibaki administration has won praise in the constituency because of the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), free primary education and the reconstruction of the Emali-Loitokitok road.
The issues that the residents want addressed include provision of water, construction of more learning and health institutions and land ownership.
The distribution of revenue earned from the Amboseli Game Reserve has been an issue, with leaders arguing that the area does not get its fair share. Mr Metito says 60 per cent of the reserve’s Sh400 million annual revenue will be allocated to the new Loitokitok County Council. The reserve was a national park from 1974 to 2005, when it was degazetted. Voting in the constituency tends to take clan patterns. The two major clans are Odo Mong’i and Orok Kitong’. Mr Metito, Mr Leshao and Mr Saidimu belong to the Odo Mong’i while the rest belong to the Orok Kitong’. Mr Kisimir belongs to the Matapato sub-clan.
Mr Metito is credited with using the CDF funds to sink boreholes and construct a number of dams in the area. At least six schools and eight dispensaries have been built using the fund. He also claims credit for the creation of Loitokitok District from the larger Kajiado District, which saves most people from travelling long distances to
“I am striving to help improve the lives of the residents of Kajiado South without any discrimination,” Mr Metito says.
But his opponents say he is yet to make any developmental impact in the area. They say there is a lot to be done in the development of infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism. They argue that the MP has not ensured equal distribution of resources. Mr Nkadayo says he will to work towards harmony between the clans.
“No meaningful development can take place in the absence of harmony,” he says. He hopes to get most of the votes from the upper Loitokitok zone while Mr Kisimir commands most support from Namanga’s Matapato clan who he claims have been marginalised.
“My clan is the minority and has all along been exploited. I want to fight for their rights,” he says.
Mr Leshao, a former principal of