Bura MP shows interest in Tana River governor post
The race to unseat Tana River governor Dhadho Godhana in the 2022 General-Election has attracted a entrant in the person of Bura MP Ali Wario who has declared interest in the seat, a move that could complicate matters for former Governor Hussein Dado who is seeking a comeback.
Dado, lost the seat in the 2017 General Election to Godhana after he ditched Wiper Party on whose ticket he won in the 2013 for the Jubilee Party.
He has however not disclosed the party on whose ticket he will fight for re-election but his allies say he is keen to contest on any party that enjoys support of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.
After losing to governor Dhadho, Dado was appointed by Uhuru as the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution.
The contest is usually between the Pokomo and Orma sub-groups which are the majority.
Both Wario and Dado come from the pastrolist Orma community. Dhadho is from the farming Pokomo.
Already, Dhadho faces a litmus test in his bid to defend the seat on the ODM ticket after former Tana River trade executive Adam Barisa Dhida, a die-hard ODM supporter, also from the Pokomo community declared interest in the governorship.
Dhida lost twice during the primaries and is likely to split the Pokomo vote to the disadvantage of governor Dhadho.
Other than the Orma and Pokomo, the county which borders Kilifi, Lamu, Garissa and Kitui, is also inhabited by the minority Somali, Giriama, Munyoyaya, Wailwana, Watta and Wardei sub-groups.
In the 2013 General Election, pastoralists communities including the Orma, Wardhei and Somalis ganged up and delivered Dado’s victory after the Pokomo fielded more than one candidate.
Former Tana River Speaker Dr Nuh Nassir who has declared interest in the seat comes from the Orma community but his he is widely expected to pull out to support Dado.
In the last election, the Wardhei community chose to go it alone prompting the Orma to gang up with marginalised Munyoyaya, clearing the way for a Godhana victory.
Yesterday, Dhida, told the People Daily he will do anything to ensure he wins the party primaries.
“My rival has already lost the ground and I am fully prepared to defeat him in the party primaries,” he said adding: “I will do anything possible to ensure he is not on the ballot under the ODM because supporters have rejected him. I am the most preferred ODM candidate.”
In August, ODM National Election Board (NEB) chairperson Catherine Mumma toured the county and gave the two rival leaders a 21-day notice to end the wars or quit before the party holds grassroot elections.
“You cannot be fighting daily because of positions in the ODM just because you want to control others.
These wrangles are not in any way helping the party and its leader Raila Odinga,” she said during a meeting in Hola.
Speaking to the People Daily on phone, Dhida who introduced himself as the ODM chairman in county said they still have not solved their wrangles after efforts to reach one of the rival leaders were futile.
“We have agreed to form a committee which shall address the conflict in the party once and for all.
Each constituency shall produce 10 members,” he said adding “I am still determined to contest the governorship on the ODM ticket since Godhana does not deserve to sit on that seat. We will use all means to win, he will only serve one term.”
At the same time, Dhida faulted the Pokomo Council of Elders for not criticising the leadership of the sitting governor, saying he might be forced to go against their wish should they endorse the governor as the community flag bearer against the people’s demand.
“The elders are unable to hold the governor accountable, therefore they do not have any moral authority to tell us to step aside for the good of our rival for the good of the Pokomo community,” he said.
Last month, Godhana joined Raila in Mombasa for the ‘Azimio La Umoja’ meeting and endorsed the ODM leader’s presidential bid.
The governor said the challenges facing the country can only be addressed through an ODM government under the leadership of Raila and called on Coast residents to unite and support the party.
One of Godhana’s projects includes a cluster village which intends to address settlement issues in the county among the pastoralists and farmers who are faced with challenges such as drought and floods.
Others who have also declared interest in the seat include former banker Hassan Morowa, former Kenya Posta employee Juma Gafo, businessman Aania Karhayu Deye and Jilo Kasse, a former community development worker.
Former Garsen MP Danson Mungatana and Ibrahim Sane are reported to also have shown interest in the seat but have not come out publicly to declare their intentions.