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Tuesday, 04 Apr 2017 17:16 EATyarriska90som@live.com
A fresh aspirant for the Wajir East parliamentary seat has settled on Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) party, bringing stability to his campaign that has galvanized youth activists and professionals from the constituency. When he first spoke to the the Kenya Free Press on February 25, Dr Ali Mohamud, a man who local political analysts describe as a populist revolutionary, had not settled on the political party he would use to vie for the hotly-contested seat.
The decision to join MCC was informed by his desire to run on a dynamic and untainted party supporting the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Loved by many young people here, Dr Ali said he greatly appreciates the confidence voters had put in him. “If we are able to maintain this confidence and the election goes as planned, I am sure we will win with minimum effort”, he told this writer in Wajir Town, which is part of the constituency.
The professional pharmacologist is making his political debut. Highly acclaimed as a scholar and businessman, he said his choices are very strategic. He wants to run a campaign based on the soundness of his ideas rather than clan, and has a programme he says young people will rally around. Running on the MCC ticket, he has become the party’s automatic being the point-man in Wajir County.
Dr Ali is proving himself a darling of the Wajir East people. He stands as a “man of the urban" aligning his close touch with the town's residents from all over Kenya, even though his stronghold remains the Somali groups that form the bedrock of the population.
A crowd mover, he pegs his politics on seeking out what the people want and aligning his programme. “Some people come with prescriptions. Others think clan is key,” he said, explaining his school of thought of selfless leadership poised to the derivation of a revolution to oust what he himself referred to as "tired and limping status quo".
Aware of the downs of Wajir East, Dr Mohamed said he will serve the people irrespective of their political, religious or tribal affiliation through servant leadership. He puts free secondary education top in his agenda, according to him, no single cent will be paid for school fees he will do it through prudent use of public resources as the constituency development fund.
He also cuts an independent streak. “You have not seen me teaming up with anybody. Dr Ali is a champion by the people themselves. They (the people of Wajir) are my foot-soldiers, they love me, and they know I am the best choice of all and my campaign isn't about an individual or a specific group, it’s the people's movement".
His manifesto mentions people empowerment. "I am aiming at investing in the people of Wajir East through social economic emancipation. It's about upholding and putting into practice the national values and principles of governance as enshrined in Article 10 of our Constitution", he said.
Dr Ali also pledged to pump funds in the water and livestock sectors with a view to ending perennial water shortages in the county and resuscitate the important sector that was once the backbone of the local economy. He equally promised to raise the living standard of low income earning mothers and youth by financing through micro business and establishment of special budgetary plan from within the development kitty of the constituency.
The Wajir East seat is the most hotly contested in the county. Dr Ali will be running against the incumbent Abass Sheikh (who is in the Jubilee Party), Bishar Omar and Ahmed Fujo (party yet to be known) and Rashid Kassim of Wiper. Abass and Dr Ali are from the Massare clan, whereas Ahmed, Bishar and RK are from the Fai clan.
The Fai family have in their elders verdict endorsed and agreed on RK as their flag bearer for the Wajir East seat. Nevertheless, there is seen an added indifference on his candidature after Ahmed Fujo and Bishar Omar contested the endorsement.
This rebellion is seen as favouring Dr Ali over the rest of the aspirants. Even though, its flat out fact that, the newcomer can be a formidable force against his fellow contenders, a story whose ultimate test will come on 8 August when Kenyans vote for their leaders for the next five years.
Mohamed is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County