Entertainment / Celebrities
Tuesday, 08 Nov 2016 16:45 EAT
For the last one year, former Administration Police deputy commandant Oku Kaunya has been under pressure from the Teso North residents to enter politics. Now, the highly esteemed former provincial administration official has "heard the people’s call" and will plunge into politics in 2017.
Mr Kaunya, who has studiously kept his cards close to his chest, is waiting for the opportune time to declare his interest for the Teso North parliamentary seat. Last Friday 4th November, the former commandant announced his “acceptance of the peoples’ call” to unseat the current member of parliament for the area Arthur Odera, a close ally of deputy president William Ruto and a Jubilee legislator.
In a statement sent to news rooms, Mr Kaunya said: “As you are aware, the term for the 11th Parliament coming to a close and the next general election is expected to take place next year. For some time now, I have been receiving a lot of requests from the constituents of Teso North to represent them in the National Assembly for the next term of parliament beginning August 2017. I have given serious thought to these requests and in response, I have accepted this request. I will therefore be seeking to represent the people of Teso North in parliament in the forthcoming general elections. Thank you and God bless the people of Teso North.”
When asked about the political party he intends to use as his political vehicle, Mr Kaunya said that he was still shopping for the right party to use. The former civil servant has also launched a charitable trust, the Oku Kaunya Foundation, which he says will cater for the education of needy pupils and raise the living standards of people in the constituency.
Mr Kaunya earned respect during and after the flawed 2007 general elections when, as deputy commandant of the AP, he resisted and eventually helped blew the lid off high-level plans to use the force in rigging that election. It is well document that a number of AP officers participated in the election as clandestine polling agents for the then ruling party, the Party of National Unity.
After the election, with preponderous evidence indicating police involvement in the electoral crimes, the deputy commandant felt under threat from superious then keen on maintaining a tight grip on the sensitive information. After initially being demoted from his position, the official went into exile in 2008, and for a while was rumoured to be among witnesses prosecutors at the International Criminal Court would rely on to prove their cases against then deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta, then head of the civil service Francis Muthaura and then commissioner of police Hussein Ali.
The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press