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Why the Kalenjin MPs ditched Raila Odinga during his home coming parties in Kisumu and Bondo

Posted by African Press International on May 13, 2008

Publisher: Korir,
<Story filed by Leo Odera Omolo,Kisumu
Plans are a foot for the launching of a new, butexclusively a Kalenjin political party.
According to insiders, the Kalenjin are in the process of ditching the ODM a party that won close to 31 in last December General elections.
Disenchanted and disgruntled Kalenjin MPS, especially those from the South Rift part of the expansive Rift Valley Province, have in the recent past holding behind the scene series of meeting while charting for the way forward for their community.
Insiders says, it is only a matter of time before the new mass political movement is launched. These series of meeting have been held ,mostly in Kericho. In March, the retired President Daniel Arap Moi called a meeting of Kalenjin professionals and political luminaries from all over the region, and among issues discussed were the possibility of founding another party that would end the ODM influence in the region.
Information reaching us, says that top leaders in on the Rift Valley have zeroed in on two parties, namely KANU and the United Democratic Movement {UDM} with either of which as the likely chosen popular vehicle to rally the community into and be used for power bargaining instrument in the formation of any future coalition government.
The signs that all is not well within the ODM, and that the Kalenjins were about to divorce the party could be read in the non-appearance of Kalenjin MPS, particularly those from the Kpsigis region at Mr. Odingas homecoming ceremonies held in both Kisumu City and Bondo at the weekend. Only two cabinet Ministers were poresewnt. The were Henry Kosgei {Tinderet} and Willaim Ruto
[Eldoret North}
Several secret meetings have been going on between the legislators and other political luminaries,.civic leaders, elders, and professionals. One such meeting was held at the Tea Research Institute of Kenya, which is located about 12 kilometres east of Kericho town and another such meeting took place inside an exclusive members only club in the town.
Taking active part in such deliberation were MPS ISAACK Ruto {Chepalungu}, Franklin Bett{Buret}, Dr. Julius Kones{Konoin}, Langat Magerer {Kipkellion}, Zakayo K Cheruiyot {Kuresoi}. Notable absentees were Kipkalya Kones{Bomet}, Lorna Laboso{Sotik}aqnd Charles Keter{Belgut}. The latter three were recently appointed to the cabinet in the bloated grand coalition government and had good reasons to stays away from the series of meeting organized by protesting MPS.
These series of secret meetings are said to be part of the concerted efforts to hammer out a consensus on which party direction to take.
According to an impeccable source, the build up towards the search for a new party to be the home of the Kalenjin community has been more forceful in the South Rift region where such consultative meetings were held within a span of less than two weeks.
As the discontent heightened, the former Baringo Central KANU MP Gideon Moi brought together former MPS and a dozen of an unsuccessful parliamentary aspirants in various parts of the Province to a secret hideout in Kericho to chart for the way forward on how to revive KANU.
In Mr. Mois team were former nominated MP Mzee Ezekiel Bargetuny, former Mosop MP John Sambu, former MT Elgon MP MR. John Kimkung..Mr Moi, according to sources has been shuttling in the full length and width of the expansive Rift Valley Province to drum up support for the revival of the 48 year old KANU, a party that ushered in the political independence in 1963 and thereafter ruled the country for close to 42 years.
Gideon, the favorite son of the self-professed Professor of politics, the retired President Daniel Arap Moi, is said to be out to cash on the ODM bad show after the formation of the grand coalition and further buoyed by popular talks of a new political party to cater for the interests of the community. He has been making new approach and forays to win back the lost grounds in both Kipsigis and the Maasai communities.
The Kipsigis community in particular blames Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister for having sidelined them, when he negotiated for the coalition cabinet with President Kibakoi. Members of the community are wondering why the neighbouring Abagusii community which gave the ODN less than 300 votes can have four permanent Secretaries, while the Kipsigis which coffed close to one million votes ended up with only one PS, in the name of Mrs Jane Kirui. The Kisii also got away with two full cabinet ministerial dockets, in the name of Prof. Sam K.Ongeri{Education}and Chris M. Obure{Works}.These leaders are also questioning the rationale in which the Abaluhyia community of Western Province, which gave the ODM less than 600,000 votes got away with more cabinet appointment.
Te UDM which boast one MP Prof. Hellen J. Sambili could be the next stop. The latter is the Minister for Sports and MP for Mogotio in Koibatek district.
But there has emerged some kind of valid argument that both Gideon Moi of KANU and the team, which is led by Franklin Bett and Isaack Ruto should bring their forces together, and perhaps lure one senior Klaenjin politicians like the powerman Nicholas K., Biwott on board of one roof in party that could succeed in bringing the disjointed Kalenjinb community politically together.
Biwott, the majority feel has the clout and support to united the Kalenjin once again in the same manner and way the retired President Moi had done for many years. It was reported had a soft heart for both President Kibaki and Priime Minister raila Odinga, and that during the recent tour of the North Rift on the peace mission to reconcile the communities there as well as to pave the way for resettlement of the IDP, Biwott took a seat in the VIP podium and got a VIP treatment and was engaged in discussion with both men.
Under heavy pressure to explain why he had sidelined the Kipsigis, and a community whiuch voted on a man to man and gave the ODM nine MPs, Raila odinga said in speeches at Chebilat along the Borabu Sotik borders and in Kipkellion in the presence of both Kibaki and Kalonzo that he had given the community two full cabinet positions in the name of William Ruto {Agriculture} and Kipkalya Kones{Roads}, saying that he was very much aware that Ruto ids a Kipsigis who was born in Belgut, but moved and settled in Eldoret in the same way, he Raila was born in Bondo, but represented Lang;ata constituency in Nairobi.. Ruto who was present, however, did not touch anything to do with his origins, perhaps fearing that would be a hot potato f to handle for his future bpolitics in the North Rift.
Another source of discontent is the hasty manner in which the government has handled the return of the IDP refugees to their homes. The MPs from the South Rift had said they needed time to dialogue with their constituents so that they could achieve genuine reconciliation. They had argued that the ground was still volatile and ripe with suspicion among the returnees and their neighbours.
Another thorny issue is the resettlement of the squattars in the Mau Forest, which has earned the wrath of the Maasai veteran politician Wiliam Ole Ntimama, {Narok North} ODM who did not minced his word, saying hat the Mau Forest must be concerved at all costs because it is the water catchment area.
A number of Kipsigis elders in Kericho were heard saying that the community had revoked the name of Arap Mibei, which they had given to Raila Odinga when they made him an elder of the community. These elders were arguing that for many years, and even during the reign of Mr. Moi, the community had voted for the successive government s
, but got nothing in return. The community has always been marginalized, and even its prime rich agricultural land which is currently occupied by the multinational tea companies has remained a touchy issue which need to be resolved.
The elders said they voted whole heartedly for Raila Odinga hoping that he would be the redeemer, but the prime Minister had ignored them despite of having given him properly educated and youthful lots of MPS..

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