Former Mandera woman representative Fathia Mahbub has announced her return into active politics, denouncing the negotiated democracy plan which saw her not seek re-election the 22017 general elections.
While announcing her political comeback, Ms Mahabub said the much practiced negotiated democracy is no longer attainable in Mandera County.
“I am vying in the coming elections based on my past record and it is due to public demand that I return to politics,” she said.
Ms Mahbub is among politicians who rode on the Garre Council of Elders negotiated democracy platform in 2013, and in 2017, she yielded to the decree barring her from seeking a re-election.
She paved the way for Ms Amina Gedow, the current woman representative.
“I stepped down in 2017 and even supported the current woman representative but things have since changed,” she said.
She said the negotiated democracy is no longer working and that it is about the people, not clan elders, choosing their leaders.
Back with better ideas
“I have been asked by the majority to return because of what we achieved together in the 2013-2017 period. I am back with better ideas,” she said.
Although yet to decide on which political party to use, Ms Mahbub said she plans to join a formidable team that will raise a political storm in Mandera.
“I am still fishing for a political team to work with but I will be in a winning team, believe me you,” she said.
She said it was during her tenure that women groups in Mandera were introduced to income generating business ventures.
“I managed to start women empowerment groups in Mandera but at the moment, the same groups have collapsed, leaving the beneficiaries disenfranchised,” she said.
“I want to see more girls go to school and many others sponsored to further their studies. I want to empower my society,” she added.
The former Mandera woman MP will battle it out with Ms Ubah Gedi of the Orange Democratic Movement.
Ms Gedi is the current Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Mandera chapter chairperson.
It remains unclear if the current woman rep, Ms Gedow, a beneficiary of the negotiated democracy, will defend her seat in the 2022 elections.
Deserving leaders locked out
In Mandera, most residents have abandoned the negotiated democracy plan, arguing it is denying deserving leaders a chance.
It was during the Asare sub-clan political meeting last month that Mr Hassan Noor Hassan led a team in dismissing the credibility of the elders in choosing leaders after he was dumped.
He was seeking an endorsement to vie for governor.
The Asare sub-clan endorsed Mr Mohamed Adan Khalif, the Mandera County Assembly Speaker.
“Negotiated democracy is no longer working after we realised that it was only benefitting a few individuals and denying many others better political representation,” Mr Issack Abdille, a resident, said.
He urged women in Mandera to go for political seats without waiting for endorsements and nominations.
He said that the council of elders has been instrumental in denying women the privileges and chances of contesting for political seats as they expressed open bias and upheld oppressive cultural values and favouritism.
“The council of elders has failed in its roles regarding taking part in political decisions. It remains a hindrance in women's progress in political leadership,” he said.
“Negotiated democracy only favours loyalists of the council of elders and men, especially from the majority clans. The major challenge of negotiated democracy in promoting women's leadership in the county is that it does not consider the popularity of aspirants, their policies, development records or voter interests,” Mrs Fatuma Hassan said while urging more women to independently seek political seats.
She said the negotiated democracy is an affront to democracy and that it deprives voters of their rights of choosing their preferred candidates.
In Mandera, women only access seats reserved through affirmative action in the county and national assemblies.
“Negotiated democracy entrenches the marginalisation of women in political decision making. It deprives women of their right to participate in a democratic elective process,” Ms Mahbub said.
Ms Mahbub urged residents of Mandera to register as voters in readiness for the coming elections.