alexa It’s life in the cold for former big shots - Daily Nation

It’s life in the cold for former big shots

Saturday March 23 2013

Jubilee Alliance member Charity Ngilu shares a brief word with an elections observer at the National Elections Centre on March 5, 2013, a day after the General Election. She is hoping to land a State job after she was beaten in the Kitui Senate race and failed to be nominated. Photo/FILE

Jubilee Alliance member Charity Ngilu shares a brief word with an elections observer at the National Elections Centre on March 5, 2013, a day after the General Election. She is hoping to land a State job after she was beaten in the Kitui Senate race and failed to be nominated. Photo/FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PETER LEFTIE [email protected]

Top politicians who lost in the March 4 General Election have for the first time come out to speak about their hopes and fears after failing to secure nomination to the National Assembly and Senate.

In separate interviews with Saturday Nation, the politicians offered a mixed assessment of their expectations of life outside Parliament, ranging from guarded optimism that they can still land jobs in government, uncertainty about what the future holds for them to utter resignation.

Among those who did not make the cut for nomination to Parliament and Senate from the Jubilee coalition are Mrs Charity Ngilu, Mr Najib Balala, Mr Chirau Mwakwere, Mr Amos Kimunya, Mr Njeru Githae, Ms Linah Kilimo, Mr Ekwe Ethuro, Mr Danson Mungatana and Mr Kiema Kilonzo.

Similar fate

Those who suffered a similar fate in Cord alliance include Mr Henry Kosgey, Dr Sally Kosgei, Mr Franklin Bett, Mr Noah Wekesa, Mr Musa Sirma, Ms Margaret Wanjiru, Mr Alfred Khangati and Mr Ramadhan Kajembe. 

Mrs Ngilu and Mr Balala, prominent members of Jubilee coalition who lost their bids to become the Senators of Kitui and Mombasa counties, respectively, said they were ready to serve the country in other capacity. 

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Amani Coalition presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi who finished third in the disputed presidential election vowed to remain in active politics, strengthening his party ahead of the next General Election.

“I will concentrate on building the party (UDF) into a vibrant political vehicle. That is my focus for the time being,” he said.

He denied reports that he was negotiating a deal with Jubilee, which would see him appointed a Cabinet Secretary if the Supreme Court upholds Mr Kenyatta’s victory.

“I have not given it a thought, I have not even heard of that,” he said.

But others like former Kwanza MP Noah Wekesa and Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat refused to concede defeat and vowed to pursue justice in courts.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who was Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s running mate in the Cord alliance, said he was waiting for the outcome of the petition challenging Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory before announcing his next move.

“We will cross that bridge after the ruling by the Supreme Court and the decision will be taken in consultation with the Cord alliance hierarchy,” the VP said through an aide.

Mrs Ngilu said she was ready to serve the government in any capacity.

“I’m ready to serve the government in any capacity,” the iron lady of Ukambani politics, who was the Jubilee coalition’s main campaigner in lower Eastern, said.

She had been earmarked for the position of majority or minority leader in the Senate in the Jubilee coalition power sharing arrangement but this looks unlikely given that she missed out on the list of nominated senators.

Mr Balala, who was the Jubilee’s point man in Mombasa County and the larger Coast Province alongside Mr Mwakwere, also said he was ready to serve Kenya in any capacity.

Mr Balala lost his bid to become Mombasa’s first Senator to former human rights activist Hassan Omar, who ran on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket.

Asked about his future, Mr Balala left his options open.

“I am still politically ambitious as everybody should be. I am aiming for a higher national position. Losing (the election) is not the end of life, life must go on. I am still young and ready to serve in any capacity or position in Mombasa, in Nairobi or even globally. The doors are wide open,” he said.

“If my people have said it’s not you Balala this time round, so be it. But I am sure if I get a bigger position (nationally), I will be able to serve my people better. I am, as I have always been, at the service of my countrymen and my people of Mombasa.”

Another Jubilee bigwig in Ukambani, Mr Kiema Kilonzo, who lost his bid to become Kitui county’s first governor, was non-committal when contacted. “Watch this space,” he said.

For former Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, who stuck his neck out for the Cord coalition and Mr Odinga in Meru County against a strong Jubilee wave, it is time to call it quits. 

“I’ve gone back to legal practice. I conceded defeat and do not wish to pursue the matter in court,” said Mr Imanyara, who lost the Meru senatorial seat to former Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi. 

Mr Mungatana, who also lost his bid to become the first Governor of Tana River County, was cagey about his next move. 

Headed to the courts

“I don’t want media publicity any more. I want to do my things quietly. I am working on certain things and if all goes well, I will be OK. I hear some people have slaughtered cows to celebrate Mungatana’s loss but that does not bother me. Things will be fine for me,” he said.

Dr Wekesa, the former Kwanza MP, and Mr Salat said they were headed to the courts for justice.

“Elections in Trans Nzoia were marred by corruption, they were not free and fair. I’m considering petitioning. My lawyers are still looking at the evidence that we have after which I will go to court,” said Dr Wekesa.

Mr Salat has also gone to the High Court in Kericho to challenge the election of Prof Wilfred Lesan as the Bomet Senator.

Former nominated MP Musikari Kombo who lost his bid to become Bungoma senator to Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula was also coy about his future.

“I will look after my grandchildren, just write that I’ve said so,” he said.

Former Kipipiri MP Kimunya said he was considering various options both locally and internationally.

“I offered myself to serve President Kibaki for ten years, which I have done very well. I have also served the people of Kipipiri for 10 years and I was ready to continue serving them but they chose somebody else, through fraud of course,”he said.

“I am a professional and I have received offers, both locally and internationally from people who believe in my capacity and I am still weighing those options.”

Nation could not reach former Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa and former Ndia MP Njeru Githae but in previous interviews, the two have left their options open.

Mr Wamalwa said last week that he is not interested in the National Assembly Speaker’s position but was ready to serve this country in any other capacity.

“I have not applied for that position and I have not declared my candidature, and neither will I be seeking it,” he said.

And speaking after The National Alliance (TNA) nominations, Mr Githae was cagey on his future only stating; “There are so many things that one can do... that experience can be channelled to the private sector.”

He said he had lost the battle for Kirinyaga governor to former Foreign Affairs ministry official Joseph Ndathi because he spent most of his time addressing national issues instead of campaigning.