February 25th 2018

Entertainment / Celebrities

Rift Valley MP forced by public to pay election agent Sh500 from 2007

Mr Towett engaged the MP in a fierce exchange of words: “You went quiet instead of expressing your problems to me. I would have understood if you had no money,” he told the MP, obviously in jest.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSunday, 09 Oct 2016 18:27 EAT

Hon. Moses Cheboi.

An MP was last weekend forced to pay a campaign agent for services rendered in 2007. Upon being confronted by the agent over the debt, the MP admitted that he owed the man Sh500 for nearly 10 years, but defended himself by saying he had been unable to pay the money for so long because he didn’t have it, and, well, the election had been “rigged.”

“I am not refusing to pay but I did not have money to pay and you all know that the election was rigged and I consequently lost,” Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi said on Saturday, trying to defend himself of the debt, but restive members of the public couldn’t take any of that.

The long debt between the MP and his agent, Mr Joseph Towett, caused  drama at Leleitich Primary in Kuresoi North Constituency after the elderly Towett accosted the MP to demand payment for his services. Mr Towett served as an agent of the area for Mr Cheboi during the 2007 elections when the MP was defending his larger Kuresoi Constituency seat. Mr Cheboi, a long time Kanu member, lost the election to ODM’s Zakayo Cheruiyot.

In 2011, the constituency was split into two, Kuresoi North and South, and in the 2013 elections the MP, now separated from his old opponent who went into Kuresoi South, easily sailed back to Parliament. However, he still did not pay his old debt, and from the look of things that’s not the only debt he owed until last weekend when the hour of reckoning arrived.

Mr Towett’s altercation with the MP was part of a bigger scene whereby residents of Kariara village claimed that Mr Cheboi had ignored them since the 2013 elections because the majority of voters there did not vote for him. It is true most Kariara voters didn’t give Mr Cheboi their vote; the people here had rallied behind Mr Cheboi's opponent, and the MP got only 16 votes at Leleitich polling station.

However, the residents used Mr Cheboi's unresolved debt to Mr Towett to embarrass him when he visited the area for the first time since the election. The MP didn’t deny owing the money to Mr Towett, whom he accused of maligning him over the matter. In his defence, he claimed he had been unable to pay the debt because the 2007 election was rigged and, having lost the election as a result, he did not have money to pay all his agents.

Psyched on by the crowd, Mr Towett engaged the MP in a fierce exchange of words: “You went quiet instead of expressing your problems to me. I would have understood if you had no money,” he told the MP, apparently in jest. The embarrassment caused the MP to declare his capacity to pay Sh500 now that he had been back in Parliament for four years.

But the admission was not enough and he had to pay the money in public to the residents’ satisfaction, upon which he must have realised that he could as well clear even his political debts in cash. He lined up everyone present and forked out Sh100 to each so they could have “a taste of his leadership.”


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