Kosgey: I am best suited to be Raila’s running mate
Posted Saturday, August 4 2012 at 20:31
Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey thinks he is best suited to be Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s running mate in the next General Election.
He believes that such a move will not only counter the rising wave of William Ruto’s United Republican Party but also secure the PM a chunk of the Kalenjin vote.
He argues that the running mate position can be used as a bait for votes and help market Mr Odinga as a friend of the region.
“We will deliver more than half of the Kalenjin vote and that is what the Prime Minister wants in the election,” he told the Sunday Nation in an interview.
The suspended Industrialisation minister says he will use the position and his long political experience – he has been elected to Parliament six times – to push for reconciliation of communities living in the Rift Valley.
The vast cosmopolitan region was the epicentre of the violence which claimed 1,133 lives and led to the displacement of thousands of families, mainly Kikuyus, Kisiis and Kambas.
Mr Kosgey was suspended from his docket over an abuse of office case but he has since been cleared by the High Court.
Mr Odinga last week told the Sunday Nation that Mr Kosgey is headed back to Cabinet “any time”.
“The events after the 2007 elections revealed that we don’t have a cohesive society. We also hope for a free and fair election next year,” said the MP.
Mr Kosgey argues against what he calls an impression that the Rift Valley was one “Kalenjin bloc” which has already decided to support one candidate.
“There are other communities such as the Maasai, Turkana, Samburu and Kisii which will back ODM.”
Further, the MP also cautioned Rift Valley residents against joining ethnic parties.
“The 2007 experience has taught us that we need to build a nation by uniting and reconciling communities as well as implement the new Constitution that guarantees fair distribution of resources,” said the Orange Democratic Movement chairman.
After falling out with the Prime Minister, Mr Ruto has galvanised a huge chunk of the Kalenjin vote, a situation that could effectively deny Mr Odinga a key bloc that voted for him in the last election.
But Mr Kosgey is optimistic that the running mate position will help restore the Orange party in the region. He has also suggested that the post be elective, saying he can garner enough delegates to clinch the seat.
The Tinderet MP says that while the appointment of the running mates was the prerogative of the presidential flagbearer, “a majority of the party branches favoured an open contest” which he said would leave the party stronger.
Roads minister Franklin Bett from the South Rift has also asked Mr Odinga to invite him to the ticket as running mate. Cabinet ministers Charity Ngilu and Sally Kosgei have also been mentioned.