Godana Doyo, Borana scholar, runs for office in upcoming Kenyan election

Aug 11, 2012, (ardaa jila) — Mr Godana Doyo is one of prominent Borana scholars who are running for office in upcoming Kenyan election. Currently he is gearing up to contest for Isiolo County Governor sit.

Isiolo County is located in the upper eastern region of Kenya and it has two constituencies, Isiolo south and Isiolo North. Isiolo borders seven counties with Garissa to the east, Wajir to the north east, Meru to the south west, Samburu to the east and Marsabit to the north west, with Kitui and Tana River counties to the south west and south east respectively. Isiolo is set to become a major part of Kenya’s economic development plan Vision 2030. The plan calls for Isiolo to become a tourist center that will include casinos, hotels, upscale retail outlets, a modern airport and transport facilities.

Its proposed capital is Isiolo town. According to the Kenyan government, the town is becoming a centre of interest because of its newly acquired status as a resort city cashing in on the popular Samburu and Shaba Game reserves and the Meru National Park, which have become preferred destinations after the famed Maasai Mara. Isiolo lies along the long Road leading toward Marisabet and Moyale much farther north. The town is served by Isiolo Airport, which is set to be upgraded to serve tourism and local exports.

These facts make the County very important to the Borana community who are the majority. This upcoming Kenyan general election will be crucial to all communities in the area, particularly to Borana. Therefore, members of Borana community are calling for unity. Actually, those who understand what is at stake during upcoming election propose to rally behind one Borana candidate.

Mr Gorana is well experienced individual with impressive resume. Below is introduction to Mr. Godana Doyo as obtained from Godana Doyo for governer – Isiolo County.

Godana Adhi Doyo was born 42years ago in Hellu, Moyale. After his primary school he spent most of his time outside the district for his high schools and the tertiary education. He studied bachelor of law at the University of Nairobi after which he started working, after short stint with some law firms in Nairobi, with a variety of the civil society organizations. The focus of his work was mainly based on human rights issues with specific focus on land rights of the pastoralists and the minority groups in Kenya.

In recognition of his active participation and indefatigable services among pastoral communities, he was elected as the chairman of the pastoralists and hunter-gatherers organization and the chairman of the Northern development forum. While in the Kenya pastoralists forum (KPF) he spearheaded the ground breaking formulation of constitutional rights of the marginalized and the minority groups in Kenya as the legal advisor and representative at the National Convention Assembly (NCA) and the National Convention Executive Council (NCEC) which was then dubbed as the Ufungamano House constitutional debates. The issues of pastoralists and minority groups in Kenya for the first time in the annals of Kenya’s history got a national traction with the rest of national mainstream concerns.

During most of his adult working life, Godana made Isiolo as his home, and worked very hard to raise its profile as one of the victims of the colonial and post-colonial cocktails of injustice perpetrated against NFD residents. At the crux of his monumental achievements was the pioneering work on ”Daaba” which exposed the mass murder and plunder of properties of the pastoral residents, especially in the three concentrated camps in the north of the district. He championed land rights of the Isiolo people and had in this area created legal awareness among civic leaders, civil society, and the general public.

He worked with local organizations like waso trust land to defend and preserve rights of the local communities in the face of unsettling and entrenched culture of corrupt land deals. He went to court to stop excision of vast chunks of land gazetted as Nyambene National reserve in 2000.He collaborated with Kinna residents to evict the exploitative Gemkit Company mining Blue Sapphire at Duse since 1991.Recently he partnered with MID-P and NGO leaders to protest against Chinese exploration of oil and gas in Basa that excluded and displaced local communities. This action largely precipitated their exit from the exploration site. He participated, whether in person or by proxy in every consultative forum in isiolo that was aimed at constitutional, legal, policy and institutional reforms. This included Njonjo in 1999, Ndungu in 2002,CKRC-Ghai 2002-2003,TJTF-Makau Mutua, 2003-4,IIEBC-Ligale 2010,TFDG-Kangu 2010,TJRC 2011 and recently IEBC 2012.

He represented Isiolo in Bomas National Constitutional Conference. At Bomas he organized with CEMERIDE the pastoralists delegates advisory panel that briefed on issues that pertained to marginalized and minority rights and interests. One of the historical milestones achieved in bomas was the entrenchment of devolved government which Godana and other like-minded delegates crafted and lobbied for. Godana served as a founding commissioner of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights as the first person from upper eastern to have represented the larger eastern province and as search set the pace for the individuals from the sub-region. In this aspect he was a trend master in opening the doors of opportunity for the hitherto unknown and sidelined professionals from the region.

Godana had since attained masters in law (LLM by research) which pioneered study of land rights in pastoral Borana and Massai in Kenya. An electronic copy of the thesis is available on Murdoch University and Australia National Library portals. He is currently pursuing a comparative PhD study that focuses on native land rights in natural resources focusing on mining and other extractive industries. Godana has decided to seek political seat in Isiolo in a bid to be part of change and improve the lives of the local residents who over the years have been confronted by ominous cloud of bad governance, conflicts, corruption, poverty and fruitless leadership.

Godana has managerial and financial experience gained at the KNCHR and several NGOs. In Australia he worked as the innovation coordinator of the ASeTTS, a project funded under the auspices of the job Services Australia managed by the department of education, Employment and Workspace Rights. Godana has visited many parts of the world including North America, Europe, Asia, Pacific and several African countries. He is a fellow of the chevening Scholarship where he did a course at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He attended Young Leadership Visitor Program organized by the state Department of the US where he visited over 10 states to gain experience on governance, human rights, global war and conflicts, international relations and civil society.

–For more information refer to Ardaa Jilaa