Perhaps because of the current heightened political activities in the country, and the issue of the Deputy President’s security guards, both of which have grabbed everyone’s attention, nobody noticed when the Eldas member of parliament made a very dangerous and extremely reckless statement that did not only have the ability to incite raised emotions among some here in Kenya, but also land him in jail.
In more strict jurisdictions, issues of sovereignty are treated with the utmost caution, and the slightest misinterpretation of this is enough to land you in trouble with the authorities, or on the other hand, land the country itself in trouble by instigating unrest.
Adan Keynan was speaking this week when leaders from pastoralist communities pledged to form their own political party known as UPYA, and whose main agenda shall be to seek ways through which to push for the interests of their region. Flanked by other leaders who included the Garissa County Senator Abdul Haji and Samburu Women Representative, Maison Leahomo, Keynan claimed that pastoralists occupy 70 percent of the land mass in Kenya, and the country’s sovereignty is defined by land mass, before population in second place.
In the past there have been unofficial isolated calls for the North Eastern region to secede from Kenya due to what they termed as increased marginalisation.
Although Keynan’s statement didn’t directly support such claims, it’s bound to open debate on the issue of sovereignty.
Worth noting is that, contrary to Keynan’s claims, the constitution expressly says that sovereignty belongs to the people.
Senator Dullo said Yatani is the movement’s leader who will sit on the negotiation table on behalf of the region.
However, it emerged that the leaders were divided on who should lead the team with a section pushing for Keynan to take charge.
Some leaders opined that Keynan hails from a popular and politically influential clan in the region.
He is also seen as a senior politician who leads Jubilee parliamentary group. He’s one of the longest-serving MPs from the region.
However, those supporting Yatani, said to be mainly technocrats, argue that the CS holds a senior Cabinet position and is one of the President’s confidants.
The leaders said the movement, which will be grassroots-oriented, will pull the region to the negotiating table where political and development deals are agreed.
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