Isiolo Woman Representative Rehema Jaldesa has declared her interest to unseat the county Governor Dr. Mohamed Kuti during the forthcoming 2022 general election.
The first term MP is being fronted as the most suitable and sellable candidate to the public due to her laudable development track record and influence in her vote-rich Borana and Turkana communities.
Jaldesa, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, who is known for making candid and controversial statements without fear of repercussions, has already declared she will not vie against Senator Fatuma Dullo, whom she said had demonstrated exemplary leadership.
The outspoken legislator said, “Dullo and I cannot vie for that single Senate seat. One of us will vie for governor, while the other will go for the senatorial seat,” said Jaldesa, while addressing a Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) training in Isiolo town that brought together over 100 women leaders from across the county.
Locals view the statement by Jaldesa, who in the past never signaled any intention to vie for the governor’s seat and who many thought would seek for Isiolo South MP’s post, as being meant to jog people’s minds and lure them into supporting a woman for the county top seat.
On the other hand, the sitting governor Dr. Kuti alias Baba Yao, having been in local leadership for over 18 years, due to his excellent negotiation skills, is not a man one is likely to unseat without breaking a sweat.
At the same time, even though Dullo has in the past distanced herself from the gubernatorial seat, if her past meetings with various community groups are anything to go by, she could be holding a hidden card.
On her part, Joyce Nairisiae, the chairlady of Samburu Council of Elders said based on their past development records, both Jaldesa and Dullo were deemed fit to serve residents in either the governor or senate seat.
“The governor’s post needs a woman. If the current women rep has done a lot with very little resources, she can achieve immense development with the billions that the county receives,” said Nairisiae.
“We are putting men occupying elective posts on notice that they are doing almost nothing. Even with the prevailing cultural traditions, we are not joking and we have the requisite numbers to tilt the statusquo,” she said.
Jaldesa said the steering group will ultimately nominate the most suitable candidate who will then be presented to the council of elders for endorsement to face Dr. Kuti at the ballot.
The women rep said, “We have carried men on our backs for the last five years and it was now their turn to return favour. If we fail to deliver, then we will resign but this county needs a personality who can take care of the needs of everyone,” stressed Jaldesa.
Other local women leaders who have so far shown interest in politics include Lucy Mworia, who is said to be eying the Isiolo North parliamentary seat.
Mworia said they will rally youths and women to their side in order to have a solid team as the polls approach.
She challenged pastoralist women to stand for elective posts without fear and called for mutual support for their own, who will be seeking various elective posts come 2022.
By Abduba Mamo