Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has dismissed the ongoing endorsement by his Abduwaq council of elders of various candidates eyeing political seats in next year’s general elections.
Speaking after touring NG-CDF projects in Garissa town Saturday, the MP said that he will not be seeking his clan elders’ blessings as has been the case in the previous elections.
Duale’s comments come barely two weeks after the council picked Garissa Governor Ali Korane to defend his seat.
Duale and Korane who have not been in good political terms come from the Abduwaq clan.
Korane’s endorsement ended the long wait and anxiety of aspirants who had presented their applications to the council.
The process has however come under sharp scrutiny with two candidates who were seeking the council endorsement describing it as a ‘sham and biased’.
Fafi parliamentary aspirant Salah Yakub and nominated Senator Falhada Iman both of Abduwaq clan claimed the process ‘was flawed and has killed the hope of democracy.
The Somali community has over the years used negotiated democracy to nominate candidates for various political seats who in most cases end up winning because of the clan support.
While those who are in support of the process say it unites communities and strengthens cohesion, critics say negotiated democracy is a sanitized system of impunity with no foundation of democratic ethics or ideological framework.
Duale, who is currently highly involved in the campaigns for deputy President Dr. William Ruto said that the ultimate decision on who will be elected lies with the people of Garissa ‘and not a few clan elders’.
The former National Assembly majority leader said that he has ‘no time for endorsements from the elders and will be seeking re-election through the UDA party.
“I want to categorically state that you will not be seeing me going to the elders and being carried shoulder high by a few elders after some purported endorsement,” Duale said.
“I will go straight to the electorate as I have always done in the last fifteen years and present my scorecard which they will use to assess me and decide whether to vote me back or not. The final ultimate solution lies with them,” he added.
Duale said that the people of Garissa Township have elected him thrice on different parties ‘clearly telling the confidence they have in me. So going to look for endorsement from a few elders will be a let down to the people’.
He said Garissa Township constituency is cosmopolitan and he will be seeking support of all the 42 tribes that reside in Garissa town.
Duale also took time to popularize the UDA party noting that it ‘was the only party that not only unites Kenyans, but resonates well with the common mwananchi through its bottom up economic model’.
Garissa county is made up of three major clans, the Abduwaq, Ahulian and Samawadhal. Abduwaq are predominant in Balambala, Fafi and parts of Garissa Township constituencies.
Ahulian dominate Lagdera and Dadaab constituencies and also parts of Garissa Township whereas Samawadhal occupy Ijara and parts of Garissa Township.
Former Garissa governor Nathif Jama has also been endorsed by his Ahulian clan to reclaim the seat.
Former late Garissa senator Mohammed Yusuf Haji was ‘kingpin’ of the Samawadhal clan.