I want to be Raila’s running mate, affirms ODM Chair Kosgey
Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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The ODM chair Henry Kosgey keenly listening to his host Joshua Kutuny as he addressed the crowd in his Rift Valley home turf perceived to be backing Eldoret North MP William Ruto in his presidential aspirations.[Photo | Leonard Wamalwa]
The rivalry between the South Rift and North Rift seems to be emerging as a major hurdle for the Orange Democratic movement party leader Raila Odinga in reclaiming votes from the region.
North Rift leaders push for the party’s national chair Henry Kosgey’s as the South Rift’s Roads Minister Franklin Bett, have gone public with interest to become the PM’s running mate.
Kosgey has reiterated his move to aspire to vie as a presidential running mate alongside his party leader
Noting that he is going for nothing short of the presidential running mate and is seeking support from supporters in different parts of the country.
Accompanied by Cherangani Member of Parliament Joshua Kutuny in a funds drive to raise money for St Paul’s Kiptoror secondary school along the Trans Nzoia and Marakwet border, Kosgey said that he has vast experience that qualifies him to go for the position.
“In the next general elections I want to be the running mate of Raila Amollo Odinga for the seat of president in the ODM party which is a national party and thus, I am looking for your support and blessings in my bid,” he told a crowd at the function in the school.
Kosgey’s move which seems to complicate matters for the PM who as much as he is running up and down to woo support from various parts of the country especially the Rift Valley and the Mt Kenya region that hence might be hard for him to pick the running mate as each region seems to be eyeing for the seat to ensure him support.
The Tinderet MP who was exonerated from the post-elections violence related cases at the International Criminal Court – ICC at The Hague received support for the running mate slot from Kutuny who is an ODM rebel now in URP.
“Basing on the experience in politics that Henry has had for the last 30 years, we do not see why he should not be Raila’s running mate for the presidency on an ODM ticket. In fact he is fit to go for presidency himself but just because he is a soft person opted to go for number two slot,” Kutuny said.
He said that as much as he supports Eldoret North MP William Ruto for the same presidency, they wish Kosgey well in his endeavors at ODM and he should also wish them well because if any of them wins then they will have all won.
“We wish you well as you endeavor to become Raila’s runningmate and we are ready to support you for the same including praying for you and any other support that you want from us,” Kutuny added.
The Cherangany Mp Joshua Kutuny in a jovial mood with the Tinderet Mp Henry Kosgey.
Kutuny who is known to be a sharp critic of Raila seemed to be softening his stance towards ODM despite insisting that he has no intentions of going back to the party that took him to parliament.
In his welcoming remarks to Kosgey he said, “karibu makamu wa rais wa serikali ijayo, karibisha makamu wa rais wa serikali ijayo’ meaning ‘welcome Mr. vice president of the coming government, welcome our vice president of the next government” he told the crowd as he handed the microphone to the chairman.
At the same time Kosgey called on Kenyans to maintain peace and unity as the country prepares to go into the next general elections so that the 2007/2008 post-elections scenario is not experienced again.
He cautioned that Kenyans should bear in mind that elections time is not war time and it is high time they proved to the international community that the country has matured democratically and can change its leaders in a democratic way without shedding any blood.
However, Kosgey who did not talk much about party politics appreciated the prayers that Kenyans offered for him as he faced the ICC trials and urged for more prayers for the remaining ICC four adding that every Kenyan has a right to get justice.
The two MPs supported the parliament’s move to raise the educational standards for parliamentary aspirants to have a minimum of a university degree to be eligible to vie.
Kutuny said that members of the August house made decisions in the best interest of Kenyans and not for their own personal or selfish interests as many Kenyans had implied.
“We listened to Kenyans as they gave views on different media after we made the first decision and many of them claimed that we MPs were paving way for illiterate people to enter the house and now we have changed the law and they still blame us. It is high time Kenyans gave us a break because anything we do whether good or bad they are always blaming, even when rain fails or they querrel with their spouses they point fingers at waheshimiwa,” pointed out Kutuny.
He further supported the move of having presidential candidates have a soft landing after losing their presidential bid in the next general elections insisting that the country needs such leaders to continue participating in national politics and development other than having them phased out in a split of an elections exercise because of a constitutional clause.
At the same time he advised civic leaders who do not have the minimum requirements of post secondary education to be proactive and start seeking for such qualifications early enough.
“I want to tell all councilors in the country that it is high time they sought for post secondary education if they know that they do not meet the requirements. You can even go for a three-month course in any aspect whether computer or community development to remain relevant in the new dispensation politics,” he noted.
The two MPs helped rise over Kshs 540,000 for the school with Kosgey contributing Kshs 300,000 while Kutuny gave Kshs 70,000.
The money is expected to help the school that was started in 2010 add more classes, an administration block and laboratories.