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Communities compete for the two MP slots in Isiolo County

Communities compete for the two MP slots in Isiolo County
June 8, 2022 Eastern Newspaper

Abdi Tepo, Isiolo South

It is very hard to predict who will be the Isiolo North and South MP this time around as each aspirant has some factors that favor or disfavor their politics in a multiethnic county.

Isiolo consists of five major communities, including, Meru, Borana, Turkana, Samburu, Somali, and others that are distributed differently in the county wards.

Isiolo North is the one that hosts Samburu, Meru, Somali, Turkana, Some Borana, and others who come out of the big five, while Isiolo south is inhibited by mostly Borana.

Up to the time of going to press Isiolo South had three known aspirants who are eyeing the MP seat: the former MP Abdulahi Banticha, the incumbent Abdi Koropu Tepo and the former Assembly Speaker Mohammad Tupi.

So far, in Isiolo North, there are six aspirants: the former Joseph Samal, the incumbent Hassan Odha, Lucy Mworia, Mwenda Thuranira, Abdi Bank, and Faisal Mohammed.

The factors that will influence the winning of the election will be the ethnic community one comes from, the financial ability, and the ability to convince the electorates among other factors.

In Isiolo South, Abdulahi Banticha, the former MP, may not be able to muscle the incumbent, due to his finances and absence for long.

He has also not been endorsed by the Borana Council of Elders, which has comparative influence in deciding who the area representative becomes.

However, residents have missed his leadership, they can consider him although he is not the front runner.

The incumbent has been among the last MPs in performance in the 12th Parliament according to all research that has been released.

According to the report, he has been last in contribution to the Assembly as well as in the development on the ground.

He also comes from the small Sakuye clan, a sister clan to Borana. He was not endorsed by Borana elders, meaning the electorates might have been tired of him.

However, his incumbency influence and the resources he is controlling can be used to woe voters when other factors are constant.

Mohammed Tupi, the former Assembly Speaker is the one now who is seen as the best candidate for the August 9 elections.

He has already been endorsed by Borana elders to go for the seat.  He has been at the forefront in defending the people of Isiolo south.

He is from the populous pure Borana tribe. He has nothing much to be accused of.

He has the highest chance of becoming the next Isiolo South MP.

Clinching the seat in Isiolo North is a complicated affair. It is not predictable, unlike Isiolo south.

Ex-MP Joseph Samal, from Turkana, will definitely consolidate Turkana Votes and some Meru votes. He is the only candidate assured of garnering almost 100% of his tribe’s votes.

So far he is the only aspirant from his tribe and his record is fair to the constituents.

The incumbent Hassan Odha Holufo is from the Borana community but he is not alone.

Although Abdi Bank is there from the same tribe, the electorates may follow the elders’ advice since he was endorsed.

He is able to use the current position but he has a burden of incumbency.

If his tribesmen will not share his votes with Abdi Bank, Odha will retain his seat because his tribe has the highest number of votes, almost 50%.

Hassan Odha-Isiolo North

He is also expected to reap almost 80% from the Samburu community, where his CDF chairman comes from. The community is very loyal to their own and they listen a lot to their own.

Odha, is the only candidate assured of consolidating votes from two major communities.

Abdi Bank tried it last time and lost to the incumbent. He is trying it this time around too although he has not revealed the party he is planning to ride on to the parliament.

He will share the incumbent’s votes since they come from the same tribe and may get the governor’s support to scuttle his possibility of retaining the position.

Faisal Mohammed is from the Somali community in Isiolo and the community has less than 5,000 votes that cannot assist him to clinch the seat.

He is a greenhorn in politics and is little known in the constituency. He has the least chance of winning unless a miracle happens.

Lucy Mworia, from the Meru community, has tried it two times and she is trying it in politics for the third time. She does not expect to win the election since the Meru votes will be shared between her and Mwenda Thuranira who is eyeing the same seat.

Up to the time of going to press Lucy, alias Mama Amani is the only candidate who has announced the party she will ride on, The DEP-Mbus party.

She was endorsed by the Ameru community especially from Nyambene(Igembe and Tigania), while Imenti prefer her rival Mwenda Thuranira.

If they will end to the ballot box both of them, they are likely to lose because they will share their vote basket.

They will share Ameru Votes and loss to one of the other candidates who have consolidated theirs.

The Ameru have over 10,000 votes and Lucy needs support from other communities like Kikuyu’s and other minorities, plus some from another majority to win the election.

The major challenge she will face is a lack of finances and she has not been able to impress her tribesmen when she was on Isiolo County Public Service Board.

She is however in the grassroots compared to her major rival Mwenda Thuranira.

Mwenda Thuranira is from the Ameru community and a real estate tycoon. He is soft-spoken and a political greenhorn.

He is not a good politician as he is unable to unite the Meru community since he has that chance.

He has neither a political base nor a backyard. He has more money than any other aspirant but he has little tactics to spend it for his political good.

According to his close allies, he does not take advice from the people on the ground.

Mr. Thuranira, alias Mambo Freshi, is best known on social media than on the ground.

Some feel he has come at the political period and some fear that he might go back to where he was after the elections.

In his meetings, Thuranira has assured Isiolo residents that he is committed to transforming their lives in all sectors if they give him a chance to serve them in the National Assembly.

He will share votes with Lucy Mworia, while he is expecting support from other major communities residing in the constituency.

However, he has been donating learning scholarships, school uniforms, foodstuffs, and wheelchairs to the disabled a factor that is likely to propel him to political victory.

This may give him an upper hand and the ability to penetrate and invade other candidates’ backyards due to his financial muscles.

The analysis is as per the situation in March 2022. If anything major that can change the situation happens and tilt the political arithmetic, then anything can happen.


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