Tension as poll for Kajiado trust land officials nears

Keekonyokie Community Trust

A group of Keekonyokie Community Trust land members. They are demanding transparency in the Trust's leadership elections scheduled for May 24, 2024.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Just a day before the Keekonyokie Community Trust Land officials' elections, tension is palpable with members talking of malpractices and chaos instigated by politicians.

One group led by long-serving chairman Moses Parantai and the second under Moses ole Monik will square it out on May 24.

The leadership election was ordered by a court after years of rivalry between the two factions.

Keekonyokie and Ewuaso Kedong wards of Kajiado West sub-county have witnessed highly volatile campaigns in the last few days.

The Parantai wing, supported by Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku, used helicopters to traverse the vast sub-county, holding rallies.

The winning team will assume the responsibility of dividing the 2,800-acre prime land valued at Sh100 billion in Kibiko near Ngong.

The contest, only features eligible members of the ranch, will be conducted in a “Mlolongo” (queuing) manner.

Mr Monik’s group has asked security agents to ensure peace and transparency prevail.

“We are aware of plans to cause chaos on election day. We do not have faith in the election secretariat that is made up of biased county government officials,” Mr Monik told journalists in Kiserian on Tuesday.

“We are also opposed to county government enforcement officers being involved in our elections.”

He also blamed the devolved government for using public funds to mobilise Mr Parantai’s supporters and funding their campaigns.

“There is evidence of senior county government officials facilitating our opponents’ rallies and paying attendance allowances. Relevant security agents need to investigate the possible misuse of public funds,” Mr Monik said.

Mr Justus Manyara, a trust member, told the Nation that politicians have created tension among ranch members ahead of the elections.

“Members want peaceful and credible elections. Irrespective of the outcomes, Keekonyokie people want to remain united,” Mr Manyara added.

Mr Parantai said he would accept the will of the people as he called on members not to be involved in violence.

“Monik is a member of my clan. I am confident members will exercise their right to vote peacefully,” he said.

“Let the people decide. I urge my supporters to be tolerant on election day.”

Governor Lenku was unapologetic after being accused of taking sides in the elections.

He said it is his responsibility as the Kajiado county boss to show residents the direction to take on important matters affecting them.