Top Stories / Counties
Saturday, 15 Apr 2017 19:06 EATakipchumba@kenyafreepress.com
As the race for Soy parliamentary seat gathers a prodigious momentum, one Mr Caleb Kositany features prominently as the favourite of the larger segment of Soy constituency electorates. The seat that was carved out of Eldoret North constituency in 2013 has attracted more than half a dozen aspirants.
In the last general election, Mr Kositany had the full blessing of the deputy president William Ruto (the outgoing MP for Eldoret North) but still he could not sweep into victory, losing to the incumbent Edwin Kipruto Barchilei. However, the erstwhile Ruto right hand man has done splendidly since that loss.
He has been making his contributions toward a legion of fund-raisings organized by the local leaders with the sole aim of offsetting huge hospital bills, raising school fees for needy and orphans children and so on and so forth. DP Ruto had deeply entrenched the culture of harambee in his former Eldoret North constituency before it was later split. The people have been and continue to miss his remarkably colossal contributions towards the support of various societal projects.
During the last election, the electorates were treating the deputy president’s preferred political candidates with marked suspicion. And this could be the best illustration of why the now most popular candidate, Mr Kositany, lost to Barchilei.
The current MP, however, has never been attending harambees in his constituency to the people's satisfaction. This is certainly his Achilles’ heel. It seems like he did not fathom the political dos and don’ts of his ‘constituents’ that feel politically orphaned by the departure of Mr. William Ruto from the constituency to the national political super league.
Other aspirants in the race for Soy parliamentary seat include, among others, Mr Barchillei, Mr Felix Chirchir (a Kilifi-based businessman), Edwin Kipruto, Sammy Kipchumba, Ezekiah Kosgey Amchat (also a businessman), Major Abel Rotich, trade unionist Julius Korir aka Power, all jostling for Jubilee Party ticket.
The contestants have made plethora of sky high promises to the electorates who appear to be partially and/or even scarcely believing in what they are being told. The current legislator, in the view of Soy constituency people, has managed the Constituency Development Fund commendably well. Having resided in the constituency since 2013 to date, I can authoritatively tell that the use of CDF in Soy has been quite efficacious.
There are few cases of embezzlement, misappropriation or siphoning of CDF monies. Thus, if the current MP will be re-elected for the second term (though there’s slim chance), then it will be purely because of his proper management of CDF, nothing could be further from the truth.
Despite the fact that it’s unwise to rule out the political clout of the incumbent, it’s beyond debate that the closest Mr Barchilei can get, in my highly contemplated view, is a distant second.
Mr Chirchir, who’s based in Kilifi County, has promised Soy electorates to build tomato factory in partnership with foreign investors who are keen on investing in Kenya, thus creating ready market for farmers and by extension employment.
Power, who flew from the background of teachers’ trade unionism, boasts of having flown some people beyond the shores, to countries of vast opportunities like Australia. However, many people here believe he cannot match Mr Kositany’s prominence.
In a nutshell, the parliamentary aspirant with the highest chance of clinging the Jubilee Party ticket after the potentially bruising political competition that involves massive use of financial resources, nasty propagandas and spinning of populist narratives with the primary objective of wooing the gullible voters to rally their precious support behind him is Mr Kositany.
Kipchumba is a staff writer/columnist at the Kenya Free Press