Turkana Politics

With Kenya’s elections being held in August 2017, the oil industry is seen to be a key factor in Turkana. The two main contenders for the Governor’s seat are Josphat Nanok, who is the current governor, vying on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) seat and John Munyes, the current senator, vying on a Jubilee seat.

Turkana is one of the counties currenlty affected by drought. There have also been incidents of insecurity along the border regions of South Sudan and Ethiopia. In March, president Uhuru Kenyatta had claimed that the county had received 40 billion Kenyan shillings while the Deputy President, William Ruto, claimed 50 billion Kenyan shillings had been allocated to Turkana.

Contenders from both counties, are however looking for ways that the oil revenue can benefit the communites so as to garner votes. The opposition has accussed the ruling party of being interested in the discovery of oil in the county hence its attempts to gain voters there. These claims have however been denied by the government.

The 2015 Petroleum Bill had suggested that the country be allocated 30% of oil revenues. It included a proposal for 20% of those revenues of go to the county and 10% to the community. The President however did not sign the bill proposing that 5% of the revenues go the community, a move that was criticized by Governor Josphat Nanok and other opposition members.

In January, the Deputy president had asked local leaders not to politicize the issue of oil and stated that the bill would be adequately reviewed.

Oil in Kenya

Oil was discovered in Turkana in 2012, by Tullow Oil, which is based in London. The company has spent billions of shillings on the community since it set base in Turkana. Some locals have however claimed not to have benefited from the discovery of oil/

Some organizations have also been exploring the extraction of oil in Lamu which is also believed to have huge deposits of natural gas.

Mombasa politics

Over the past few weeks, there has been tesnion in Mombasa County, Kenya, as a result of the upcoming elections. In March 2017, while the president was in Mombasa, he held a rally. Prior to the rally, a parallel rally to be held by the Governor, Hassan Joho was cancelled. The country has been known to be an Orange Democratic Party (ODM) stronglhold and the ruling party, Jubilee, has been trying to gain popularity in the county. In the past, parties have tried to gain influence by handing out title deeds to residents in the coastal region.

Joho was also denied entry to a presidential launch of a ferry, a move seen to have been influenced by politics. During this time, there was also an exchange of words perceived to be negative between the two.

In the following weeks, Joho was accussed of lying about his education by faking his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). The move was seen to be an attempt to bar him from contesting for governship in Mombasa.

On 3rd April, shots were fired as Joho attended a political rally in Migori County. This was after Migori’s governor Okoth Obado raided the rally in a bid to disrupt it. Members of the oppositon claimed that shots were fired in order to assasinate Mombasa’s governor. The two governors subsequently made peace.