Friday, September 28, 2012


Like the other constituencies in the vast North Eastern Province, Mandera East still lags behind in terms of development, with very little activity in its predominantly pastoral economy.

Currently, there are no useful projects in place to improve the lot of the local people who are mainly nomadic pastoralists. They depend on their livestock, mostly camels, cows and goats for their survival. The majority of Mandera East residents rely on relief food supplies from the Government and donor organisations due to decades of severe drought which has killed many livestock. The local people say their interests have not been adequately represented in Parliament and addressed by the Government. High on their agenda is the economic backwardness of the local people despite the fact that they are endowed with abundant livestock. No one is helping them to identify markets to sell their livestock.

Education standards in the area are very low, while insecurity is prevalent, with banditry, cattle rustling and violent attacks occurring frequently.This state of insecurity continues to deter economic development and the initiation of projects that can benefit the people. 

A poor infrastructure and lack of communication facilities are the other major problems that plague Mandera East constituents. There is no single tarmac road in the area. Mandera East borders Somalia and Ethiopia and is made up of seven administrative divisions - Central, Finno, Laffey, Qalalio, Warangara, Harerie and Libehia.

The Murule clan of the larger Somali tribe are the predominant inhabitants of the constituency and they have a big say on who is elected. Then there are the Degodia and Garreh clans, who also influence the voting pattern but in a small chunk. The elders of the community are also deeply involved in determining who who runs for both the parliamentary and civic seats. This year, they are looking for Abdille to represent them in Mandera East while Abdi Mude Ibrahim, A former ECK Commisioner to represent them in Lafey District, a new Constituency 

During the 1992 General Election, the Murule Community elders threw their weight behind an MBA (Health Management) graduate, Abdi Mude Ibrahim, to run for the parliamentary seat on a Kanu ticket, but he opted to go to the UK for further studies. The elders then decided to support the former MP, Shaaban Ali Isaack, against the late MP Abdullahi Sheikh Ahmed (Abajana), who won the seat on a Party of the Independent Candidates of Kenya (PICK). A row erupted over the elections and the High Court ordered for a by-election. The late Sheikh once invited the former US Ambassador to Kenya Aurelia Brazeal to visit the constituency. Shaaban Isaack had held the seat temporarily before the by-election towards the 1997 elections.

Come the 1997 General Election, the Murule elders resolved to support Shaaban Isaack who had not sufficiently completed his five-year-term won through a by-electionThe elders still wield so much influence on Mandera East politics. Local political observers claim that the elders now want change and are locked in a series of consultations to decide who among the aspiring candidates will best suit the seat. Shaaban Isaack and Mude Ibrahim, who has since completed his further studies in the UK, are among those said to be in the race for the seat and both come from the big Yabarsein sub-clan who form a 70% Majority within the Murule Community. The two will have to fight it out in lafey District come the 2013 General Election unless the elders iron out their differences.

Previously, All the candidates have had to solicit votes from the minority Garreh and Degodia clans to claim the Mandera East Constituency. Abdi Hassan Haji (Ford Kenya), who was placed second position during the last General Election and we don't have proved report that he is eyeing something. He is one of the contestant capable of causing an upset.

The Incumbent MP (as at 2007-2013) , Hon. Mohamed Hussein alias Qaras had a more momentus period serving the people of Mandera East and with the coming of the general election 2013, he is not defending his seat but has opted to go for the Lafey Constituency seat. He was first elected to parliament in 2007 on an ODM Party ticket. This year, Since he fell out with The Prime Minister Raila Odinga, He was a Lieutenant of Raila's Rival, William Ruto. He also fell out with the community Elders and has since been told to run his own campaign in a style he thinks deem fit.

Previous candidates include another former MP for the area, Mohamed Sheikh Aden alias "Mohamed Ethiopia", Osman Dubane, Ismail Aden Yussuf, Abdirahman Abdinoor "Yam-Yam" and Mandera Boys High School head- teacher, Hassan Sheikh Ali. over the years, It's a mixed bag of contestants who will all have to apply all the tricks from their political armoury if they expected to win the seat.



The candidate so far selected un-opposed from the Murule Community is Abdille and he will have to fight it out with other contestants from other tribes. Abdille will have to see how the issue of Lafey Constituency will be resolved so as to get a bigger share of Yabarsein Votes to compete for Mandera East.


The Candidates include: 

Hon. Shaaban Ali Isaack
THe is a former Assistant Minister for urban authorities, who first won the seat of Mandera East thrice before getting defeated in 2007. Hon. Isaack was a District water officer before he made his debut in politics in 1992 when he was scheduled to be his first time to Parliament. His first stint in Parliament was very brief as he lost to the late Abdullahi Sheikh Ahmed in the general Elections and had to come in through a by-election in 2005. He captured the seat with an overwhelming victory on a Kanu ticket in 1997 General Election, but remained as a back-bencher like the majority of his Kanu colleagues from the vast North Eastern Province.

Isaack worked well with his constituents and Government authorities and has made some efforts that have seen roads repaired and many primary schools established in the constituency. 

A soft-spoken politician, Isaack, 48, went to Arabia Primary School and Garbatula National School. He later joined the Kenya Water Institute in Nairobi and obtained a diploma in water supply technology. This year, he wants to be elected the first MP to serve the new Lafey Constituency. If re-elected, Isaack would like to fight for the provision of better health care, improved standards of education and also ensure adequate clean water for both domestic consumption and for livestock.

Hon. Abdi Mude Ibrahim
Forty three-year-old Mude received his political baptism in 1988 when he took head on a former area MP, Mohamed Sheikh Aden alias Mohamed Ethiopia in Kanu's infamous mlolongo (queue) voting system. He, however, lost to Aden. Mude took his early education in Mandera before joining the Medical Training Centre in Nairobi. He later went to Birmingham University in UK to undertake a degree course in health management. Afterwards, Mude pursued an MBA (Health) programme at the University of Keele, UK.

Mude who is currently a member of the UK Association of Business Executives, had previously worked with the Government in Mandera and later became programme manager of several NGOs. He was also a member of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya. Mude wants to be elected MP so that he can improve the education standards of the constituents by ensuring that they top the list of those who annually sit for the country's national examinations. He also wishes to initiate self-help projects that will sustain many of the unemployed youth and women.

Ibrahim Abdi Dalahow

Ibrahim, the youngest of all, is a flamboyant aspirant who bases his credentials from having worked for Kenya Commercial Bank in Nairobi before venturing into Shipping Business in Dubai, UAE. He is a Member of the Kenya Shippers Council and China Africa Alliance.

He has a degree in International Relations studies from the Nairobi University and having been at the forefront of advocating for youth and the disadvantaged population, bases his candidacy on those lines.