Marsabit governor H E Mohamud is the latest to be put on the radar of investigating agencies following complaints that he has not observed the regional balance in nominations to top county jobs, the Gabra community is crying foul following the release of a list of nominees to the county Public Service Board. Questions as to whether merit was observed and regional balance is now a source of tension a fragile county that hardily experiences peace in any given month.
Marsabit county, the second largest in the country, yet one of the most underdeveloped in Kenya, is full of controversies and makes headlines for all the wrong reasons. If it is not tribal conflicts that consistently rock the fragile tribal relations, then it is news of ethno-centric decisions, ineptitude and mediocrity of the county government of Marsabit, threatening to break up the already shaky fabric of this multi-ethnic County.
Governor Mohamud’s tenure is not different after all, despite his promise and campaign slogan of Kayo (the word means tranquillity). He is on a well calculated mission to destroy Gabra. It is this unending salvo, aimed at his political nemesis- the Gabra- that perpetually rock the fragile peace in Marsabit. His recent weapon is the County Public Service Board.
Yesterday, the Governor released the list of public service board nominees to the county assembly for vetting and subsequent approval. On the list are the following, with their ethnic definitions indicated
Names sent for vetting and respective Position and Tribe are :
1. AMBROSE LOCHOKWE designated to be CHAIRPERSON of the board – RENDILLE tribe
2. ABDI ADAN SULEIMAN Board Member -BORANA-SOMALI tribe
3. HALIMA URGO OMAR board Member – BORANA-GABRA tribe
4. RUFO ROBA WARIO Board Member -BORANA tribe
5. DANSOYE DULA CHUDO Board Member from GARRI tribe
6. ADAN MOHAMED IBRAHIM Board Member from BURJI
Despite having competent and more ligitimate candidates for the position, the Gabra lost big time in the choice above and this is why.
The Gabra are the second largest community in Marsabit county, so at the very least expected one position. Gabra’s purported nominee on this nomination list is little known Halima Urgo Omar. Halima Urgo was born in Central Division of Marsabit county, to a Borana mother and a ‘Gabra’ father. Her father has since been assimilated into Borana and is now the chair of the Borana Council of Elders in Marsabit. She has no relationship with Gabra. As such, the fact of the matter is that Halima Urgo, for all intents and purposes, does not represent Gabra.
The decision of the governor to ignore all pleas and rational protestations to nominate a candidate with no legitimacy and experience to represent Gabra interest on the County public service board is not only spiteful, but also demeaning to the Gabra. Halima Urgo Omar was nominated NOT to represent Gabra, but to reward her mother who is a political crony of MP Raso and Governor Mohamud. The intrigues behind Halima Urgo’s nomination however lays bare this wider scheme to marginalise Gabra in Marsabit county. Surprising, at the centre of this scheme is the elected MP for North Horr, Chachu Ganya who has since turned an accomplice to these perpetrators.
Governor Mohamud and MP Raso had conspired to deprive Gabra of this position and Halima Urgo provided an excellent opportunity.
The MP for North Horr Chachu Ganya, who is apparently on a revenge crusade against the Gabra- the people he was elected to represent- fell for their trap. The two leaders made Chachu believe they were giving the position to his choice, when in actual sense all the criteria negotiated by the Gabra fitted well their crony’s candidate.
MP Ganya is said to have fallen out with his FAP party, including the CS Ukur Yattani, and it is intimated that he is on a revenge mission against CS Ukur and Team Change ( former opposition group in own backyard). In his quest for revenge, MP Chachu is said to have lost sight of what matters for the people he represents and is said to be at his lowest ebb in his political history. He has lost the confidence of his FAP party and legitimacy with his Gabra electorate.
It is these political intrigues that gave a lifeline to the inexperienced Halima Urgo Omar, the purported Gabra representative on the Board. She totally lacks the legitimacy, tenacity and experience to represent Gabra on that Board! The Gabra lost big time!