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Sunday, 16 Apr 2017 17:13 EATakipchumba@kenyafreepress.com
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political advisor Joshua Kuttuny, who is also the former MP for Cherangany constituency in Trans Nzoia County, has enthusiastically thrown his hat into the race for the seat in the upcoming election.
Mr Kuttuny, who lost the last general election by a whisker to the then independent candidate Wesly Korir, has put up a formidable force. But what precisely could have reinvigorated Mr Kuttuny’s political clout in a constituency that is rightly ruminated as both cosmopolitan and apparently Jubilee heartland?
I have deeply studied and meticulously analyzed the Cherangany political terrain. I took keen interest in interrogating the constituency’s self-appointed but influential chattering class, and sought the opinion of the ordinary voters regarding the current leadership, and perhaps juxtaposing with Mr Kuttuny’s.
What I concluded is, there are deeply running feelings of betrayal by the incumbent legislator. The greatest percentage of those electorates I managed to interview feel that the tall pledges made by the incumbent like providing mobile clinics to say, every ward and supporting all school-going needy and orphans children both at secondary schools and even colleges were swept under the carpet soon after Hon. Korir roared into victory.
The residents of Cherangany are now seized with an overriding desire to whip up Mr Korir, politically. Many voters are fatally missing the vibrant cum development oriented leadership of the former URP’s foot soldier Kuttuny.
During Mr Kuttuny’s era, umpteenth infrastructural projects like building of schools (by phasing out the dilapidated mud-built learning structures) through CDF and to some limited degree, organized harambees, sprang up.
It’s this highly commendable development record that has substantially endeared the development-famished voters to Mr Kuttuny, whose campaign slogan is: ‘Heshimu Raia - Respect the voters’. Mr Kuttuny’s marked development agenda, according to the Cherangany electorates, is what the current MP has thunderously failed to achieve, let alone surpass.
Having been bitten politically following a supposed ‘slip of the tongue’ on the eve of the last watershed general election, Mr Kuttuny is now twice shy. And this impeccably underscores why his campaign catchphrase is Heshimu Raia.
Other aspirants in the race include Michael Kibebe, Patrick Simiyu, Ben Milimo, Patrick Walubengo and Joseph Rotich. There’re feasible rumors that Mr Korir is contemplating to defend his seat as an independent candidate, even after recently announcing his defection to the Jubilee Party.
This, according some insiders, has been necessitated by the stiffest competition staged by Mr Kuttuny as they seek Jubilee party’s ticket. Sensing that Mr Kuttuny will take him to the cleaners in the Jubilee nomination slated for 21 April, the incumbent is now opting to defend his gradually ‘slipping away’ seat as an independent candidate, a perfect replay of what he did in 2013. But, will he survive the potentially cut-throat political contest for Cherangany parliamentary seat?
Unless the unthinkable happens, Mr Kuttuny is the real political behemoth that is expected to, firstly cling the Jubilee nomination ticket, at the crack of dawn, and secondly win the Cherangany parliamentary seat in a landslide victory come 8 August.
Yes, going by the Cherangany constituency electorates’ enthusiastic cheers and unsolicited praises of Mr Kuttuny, it’s crystal clear that the former legislator’s political juggernaut is really unstoppable! They are praising him the high heaven. An indication of early victory.
Kipchumba is a staff writer/columnist at the Kenya Free Press