Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 12:13 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Jubilee Party's point-man in Tana River County Danson Mungatana today defected to former deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi Amani National Congress (ANC) party, just three days after President Uhuru Kenyatta received area governor Hussein Dado to Jubilee. Mr Mungata’s defection to ANC is a show of protest to President Kenyatta’s Jubilee after the governor was given more preferences and likely to get a direct nomination to defend his seat.
Mr Mungatana’s new political marriage comes in less than a week after he had teamed up with Tana River County Assembly Speaker, Dr Nuh Nassir in an attempt to oust Mr Dado. Dr Nuh Nassir has however not defected to ANC, and is in former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party. Both Wiper and ANC are members of the National Super Alliance.
The duo is perceived to be key front-runners for the governor seat and Mr Dado must seek coalition with smaller communities if he has to successfully retain the seat come August 8. Mr Mungatana and Dr Nassir were together addressing residents of Bura Constituency, who have been entangled in a bitter border dispute with their counterparts from Mwingi in Kitui County that has claimed more than 40 lives in the last two years.
That Saturday was the first time they addressed the electorate together since they fronted the coalition at Basahrgiesa. The duo who have not mentioned whom among them will be running for which seat said that they had formed ‘a winning team’ and pledged to work together with a view to ousting Mr Dado, who defected to Jubilee during President Kenyatta's tour of the Coast last weekend.
Mr Mungatana has already been endorsed by his Pokomo community while Dr Nassir, a former Bura MP, has also been endorsed by his Wardhei community. Both had said earlier that they would be running for the governor’s seat. “We have come together to form a strong coalition that will send Dado home. Another five years for Dado will be catastrophic for the residents of Tana river,” Mr Mungatana said.
Traditionally, Tana River County votes on ethnic affiliation which normally favours two out of the three major ethnic groups. The county is inhabited by the Pokomos, Ormas, Wardhei and other smaller tribes. A coalition of two of any of the three ethnic groups have normally led to victory in the past.
It is, however, not clear whether that system is going to work in this year’s polls but indications are high that Mungata a Pokomo and Nasir a Wardhei will form a strong political force against Dado.
In 2013, Mr Dado won because he picked a running mate from the Wardhei community. His deputy, Jire Siyat, has since ditched him and is now supporting Dr Nassir.