By The Star
A supremacy battle is shaping up between Deputy President William Ruto and Cord leader Raila Odinga over control of the populous Narok county, which is at the centre of Maasai politics.
Ruto has been meeting leaders from Narok and Raila has openly been showing his support for the county’s leaders who want the Governor Samuel Tunai out.
The Maasai community is known to speak in unison on most matters of national interest. Concerns that the government was brutal on protesters in Narok last week have given Cord an opportunity to once again reach out to the Maa community.
Two protesters were shot dead and five elected leaders were held overnight in a Nairobi police station.
Raila’s ODM, with the backing of former minister William ole Ntimama, won virtually all the seats in Narok and most parts of Maasailand in 2007, but lost them to URP in 2013.
ODM was also unable to win the governorship, which was taken by former intelligence officer Tunai on a URP ticket.
Cord, according to multiple sources, wants to use the unfolding events in Narok to wrest control of the region from Ruto’s URP.
“Raila and Cord at large are not asleep, we are all scheming and what you are seeing is part of it. The Maasai community interest is better championed by Raila, not Jubilee. Remember, in 2007 the Maasai community was behind Raila, and now we want them back,” said Junet Mohammed, the ODM director of Elections, yesterday.
As part of the strategy, Raila and Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday attended a funeral service for one of the people shot dead last week during demonstrations by leaders opposed to Tunai.
The former prime minister said he and the entire Cord family will stand by the Maasai leaders and called on them to quit Jubilee and join Cord.
“We will stand with the Maasai leaders and the entire community in demanding accountability and transparency,” he told a huge crowd of mourners in Esupetai, Narok South.
Without naming names, Raila said Cord was aware of a senior Jubilee leader who is benefiting from the corrupt activities going on in Narok county.
“We know that there is a Jubilee man collecting money from the Mara and donating the same in other counties during his weekly harambees. He is spending over Sh42 million every month,” he said.
Last week Raila also led Cord leaders in attending a court session when five legislators and Senator Stephen ole Ntutu were arraigned in court for leading demonstrations in Narok.
Raila addressed a large crowd outside the court, where he called for the dissolution of the county.
To further demonstrate ODM support, Siaya Senator James Orengo offered to be part of the team of lawyers representing the legislators.
Narok County leading online newspaper.
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