July 21st 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Why Mandera Governor Ali Roba feels as Jubilee’s most hated member

The governor has rebelled against a declaration by Jubilee supporters from Mandera that he should not contest for re-election in 2017. The resolution about inter-clan power-sharing, passed by elders from the clans, applied to Jubilee candidates since all its identified officials were from the Jubile

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 05 Dec 2016 12:01 EAT

Governor Ali Roba delivering a speech at a past function. (Photo: Courtesy/Mandera County Government archives)

The government has awarded all governors a national honour of the Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH) but left out five. Those excluded are Isaac Ruto of Bomet, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni, Ali Roba of Mandera, Amason Kingi of Kilifi and Moses Akaranga of Vihiga.

However, it is only Mr Roba who will actually feel excluded. From the look of things, he can’t care less about not receiving honours from a government from which he feels estranged. The other four governors have already earned the honour under previous presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki.

While it is not automatic, all cabinet ministers are normally decorated with the EGH honour, and the Kenya Free Press has confirmed that Mr Kingi, Prof. Kibwana, Mr Ruto and Mr Akranga all have EGH badges already. Mr Ruto served as cabinet minister during the Moi regime while Messrs Kingi, Kibwana and Akaranga served under President Kibaki.

The other governor with the title is Kakamega’s Wycliffe Oparanya, who served as minister for Planning and National Development under Mr Kibaki.  

It is ironical that Governor Roba is from the Jubilee Coalition which is giving the awards. The governor has rebelled against a declaration by Jubilee supporters from Mandera that he should not contest for re-election in 2017. The resolution about inter-clan power-sharing, passed by elders from the clans, applied to Jubilee candidates since all its identified officials were from the Jubilee Coalition.

Mr Roba has indicated that he could still run for the office on another party ticket, a development which would jeopardise Jubilee’s electoral chances in the only county it controls in the former Northern Frontier Region. This has made him an enemy within.

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