Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko’s decision to vie for Kajiado seat unsettles Metito
The defection of Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko to Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has thrown the spanner in the works for her Kajiado South colleague Katoo ole Metito.
Metito, who chairs the powerful National Assembly committee on Defence, has been Ruto’s key pointman in the county where he is poised to run for the governorship.
Tobiko has also indicated she will be gunning for the governor’s seat on DP Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.
Before Tobiko’s entry, it was widely expected Metito was likely to land the UDA flag in his campaign to unseat Governor Joseph ole Lenku.
Metito’s supporters claim Ruto had already endorsed him in his earlier tour of Loitoktok, sharply criticising Tobiko as an opportunist.
Stood with DP Ruto
A considerable number of Ward representatives allied to UDA have also stuck with Metito arguing that he stood with the party and Ruto while Tobiko was courting Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
“She has in the past been a critic of the DP and her sudden change of heart is self-centrerd. Metito has maintained his loyalty to UDA.
We did not attend the function because Tobiko did not involve us while doing the preparations,” said an MCA allied to Metito who requested anonymity to speak freely on the matter.
“It was not a UDA affair but her personal affair. It is true currently the party has sharp divisions that threaten its earlier popularity,’’ said the MCA.
The rivalry was evident when Tobiko hosted Ruto at her home in Irpolosat where she officially decamped to UDA from Jubilee.
Ward Reps allied to Metito did not attend the function as well Kajiado West MP George Sunkuiya.
On the same day, Metito and Sunkuiya held a-meet-the -people tour at Kajiado West giving no attention to the DP’s visit.
Metito and Nominated Senator Mary Seneta have been the Ruto’s allies in Kajiado since the inception of UDA.
While Tobiko maintains she was ready to battle it out for the party ticket during nominations, Katoo’s team feels they have been shortchanged.
There was earlier speculation that Katoo and Tobiko intended to team up and with one of them to deputise the other.
However the two are said not to have reached a consensus and the matter was further complicated by the fact they come from the same Odomong’i clan.
Tobiko is on record saying she is not willing to deputise any candidate whatsoever.
However, the entry of Tobiko to the gubernatorial race and UDA has brought together Seneta and Tobiko together.
The two, who have been political rivals have been critics of one another and in 2017, Tobiko trounced Seneta in the Jubilee nominations.
When Tobiko was invited to speak at her home by Seneta, she said she had never had peace from the time she announced she will join to UDA
Tobiko said she had made the decision after wider consultations and was ready to fight it out with other candidates during the polls.
Tobiko’s entry into the gubernatorial seat has left Seneta as the only woman in the Kajiado East parliamentary race which has so far attracted at 13 contestants.
To the amusement of many Kajiado residents, Seneta was the master of ceremony during Tobiko’s function where the two buried the hatchet.
“Seneta presence at Tobiko’s function is a clear message that the two are ready to work together.
The two have had a very frosty relationship but UDA has now brought them together,” said Ann Siampei, resident of Kajiado.
“Seneta’s move is well calculated. If he opts to support Tobiko’s candidature she is likely to win majority of Tobiko supporters.
Tobiko influence in Kajiado East is intact. That means the candidate she will support is likely to win the seat,” said Ahmed Sharriff, a political analyst.
Former National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) director Francis Meja entry into UDA is considered insignificant as he is considered an underdog.
Others in the race include the incumbent Governor Joseph Ole Lenku, former governor David Nkedianye, businessman Solomon Kinyanjui and Josiah Tarayia ole Kores.