10 May 2017

Kenya: Newcomers Upstage Seasoned Politicians in Bomet

Several newcomers in politics have handed seasoned politicians defeats in the just concluded party primaries, boosting their chances of winning the seats come August in the General Election.

Among them is Mr Briton Yegon of Konoin constituency, who surprised many when he trounced Mr Sammy Koech - the incumbent and two-time legislator in the recent Jubilee party nominations to emerge winner.

Mr Yegon says he has been plotting how to capture the seat for the last three years.

The nominee says he has what it takes to walk the talk and serve the Konoin constituency better.

"The campaigns needed one to print posters and other election materials and whose expenses were not meagre but this is the order of the day," he says.

The aspirant says he has had good working relations with the constituent, which has endeared him to them, earning him their vote of confidence in the primaries.

"It is the good of my work and the trust of the people in my leadership that has brought me this far," he quips.

On his meagre budget for the nomination campaigns, Mr Yegon says he was not bothered in using his ordinary car in campaigns against his rivals who had convoys, featuring top-of the-range vehicles.

"The work I did for the people spoke for itself during my campaign trails. In elections, people are so important because they are the ones who decide who the leader will be," he adds.

IS CONFIDENT

Mr Yegon is brimming with confidence that he will trounce his Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) rival Cosmas Korir in the General Election.

In Sotik Constituency, another political greenhorn Dominic Koskei, the son of a one time Sotik MP Mr Antony Kimeto, surprised many when he beat the current Bomet County Woman Representative, Ms Cecilia Ngetich and former Nairobi provincial commissioner Mr Francis Sigei to clinch the Jubilee party nominations to win the seat.

Koskei attributed his win to the good done by his father, during his tenure as Sotik MP. "I was running against people with a lot of resources but despite my meagre resources, the people saw it fit to bestow me the seat and bequeath the seat that has been left behind by the Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso now running for the Bomet gubernatorial seat on Jubilee party ticket against the incumbent Governor Isaac Ruto of CCM," he says.

Ms Ngetich opted not to defend her woman representative seat and instead vied for the Sotik parliamentary seat, in the process losing to the youthful Mr Koskei.

Mr Koskei will battle it out in the August 8 General Election with Mr Paul Kimeto, formerly Bomet branch executive of Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) on CCM ticket.

PRINTING POSTERS

Mr Koskei similarly said he only spent money on printing campaign posters and other materials.

For Chepalungu Constituency, the sitting MP Paul Savimbi won the Jubilee party nod to defend his seat with ease, on the basis of what his allies said was his good development record for the duration he was area MP.

He will face off with Mr Gideon Koskei(CCM) on August 8.

In the Senate race, Jubilee party's nominee, Dr Andrew Langat, says his long stint as a lecturer at Moi University served to endeared him to many Bomet constituents.

This is what enabled him to trounce the incumbent, Prof Wilfred Lesan, in the Jubilee party nomination race .

Dr Langat will now wrestle with Dr Stephen Kosgei (CCM) in the General Election. He too, says he did not use a huge budget to win the nomination since he has larger following among Bomet voters.

Ms Joyce Korir, Jubilee's nominee for the Bomet woman representative seat says her role as Deputy speaker of the Bomet County Assembly and the incumbent Singorwet ward MCA, gave her a headstart in the nominations.

She is a one-time councillor for the ward and mayor of the defunct Bomet Municipal Council.

ALL NEW

Mrs Korir says she did not have to use a huge budget to down her opponent, as they were all new in the field of politics and could not match her prowess .

She will now face her fellow MCA, Mrs Hellen Rotich of CCM in the General Election.

In Bomet East , the wife of the late cabinet minister Kipkalya Kones, Mrs Beatrice Kones exudes confidence of beating her eldest son Mr Kevin Kones who is vying for the seat on CCM ticket.

She hopes to pick up from where her late husband left when he died in a plane crash in Narok County on June 10, 2008.

Mr Kones, a powerful figure in the Kanu government was MP for the larger Bomet Constituency and later Bomet East.

He was in office for only 8 months before he lost his life in the plane crash.

His wife Beatrice, succeeded him in the subsequent by-election. She later lost the seat to Mr Bernard Bett in 2013 but turned the tables on Mr Bett, when she trounced him in the jubilee nominations two weeks ago.

In Bomet Central Constituency ,the incumbent MP Ronald Tanui won the party nomination and says his development record speaks for itself to secure him a re-election.

'A LOT'

"I have done a lot for Bomet Central Constituency people. I distributed development activities evenly to all the five wards without any discrimination, a gesture that gave me the respect to be re-elected," he said.

He will be facing a newcomer in politics, Mr Kipngeno Kirui of CCM - popularly known as 'Arwet' in the General Election for the seat.

The current speaker of the Bomet County Assembly Geoffrey Korir who was also vying for the Bomet senatorial sea, lost Dr Langat and is now lobbying to be picked as Dr Laboso's running mate in the Bomet gubernatorial seat race.

Eighteen incumbent Bomet MCAs both on Jubilee and CCM parties were downed by newcomers in politics despite setting side huge war chests for their campaigns.

However, of all the ongoing politics in Bomet, the one on the lips of many residents is the battle pitting Governor Isaac Ruto and the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Lornah Laboso for the governor's seat.

Dr Laboso exudes confidence of winning the seat from the incumbent and pledges to "bring change in Bomet on developmental activities and other gainful ventures"

Governor Ruto also insists he will reclaiming the seat because of his development record.

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