Negotiated democracy: Mandera East aspirant asks sitting MP to return 2017 favour

Aftin Mohamed Farah

Mr Aftin Mohamed Farah on December 5, 2021 in Mandera town. He is banking on his clan's support to win the Mandera East parliamentary seat. 

Photo credit: Manase Otsialo | Nation Media Group

The contest for the Mandera East Parliamentary seat has continued to attract more aspirants as the August 2022 General Election draws nearer.

It will be a contest for aspirants drawn from the larger Murule clan that inhabit parts of Mandera East and Lafey constituencies.

Already, incumbent Mr Omar Maalim, Mr Hussein Weytan, and Mr Aftin Mohamed Farah have declared their interests.

Mr Weytan will be making his second attempt after losing the same seat in 2017.

Mr Farah, 35, believes it is his turn after giving up his bid in favour of Mr Maalim in 2017 under the negotiated democracy arrangement.

Mr Maalim served as the first Mandera County Deputy Governor between 2013 and 2017.

“I contested in the 2017 election but my clan elders persuaded me through the negotiated democracy to step down for the current MP since we are from the same sub-clan of the larger Murule clan,” he said, revealing that the agreement was that he would contest in 2022.

“We agreed that 2022 will be my time and I am here now seeking that from the electorate.”

According to Mr Farah, the Sharmake sub-clan of the Murule clan will adhere to their 2017 agreement and allow him to vie.

“I still need their endorsement and support. I am a youthful aspirant and my main agenda is to support the youths who are the majority in our society,” he said.

He said he will seek to uplift the lifestyle of the youths in Mandera East constituency if elected.

No issues with other candidates

“Youths face a lot of challenges and under my leadership, it will be about guiding, training and providing opportunities for them,” he said.

He pledged to be the face of Mandera East, the Mandera County headquarters and a leader for all irrespective of tribe or religion.

“Mandera East constituency is cosmopolitan and it needs someone who will unite and represent them equally,” he said.

Mr Farah is also chasing his childhood dream of becoming a leader representing his constituents at the national level.

“I have had this ambition for a long time and this is the time I have to seek the mandate from the people for my dream to be fulfilled,” he said.

He believes every Kenyan citizen has a right to contest and that he has no issues with other candidates coming on board.

“I know there are other aspirants eyeing the same seat and I have no problem with that because we are in a democratic country and everyone has a right to contest for any political seat,” he said.

Mandera East constituency owing to local political arrangements between the Garre clan and the Murule is left to the latter and any other member from other clans.

“Political schemers from the Garre clan have always used the Mandera East seat to win the support of the Murule clan for them to win the top three seats of the governor, senator and woman representative,” Mr Ali Abdi, a local resident said.

Members of the Corner tribe have always presented an aspirant but low numbers from their vote basket have left them disadvantaged.

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