Sunday, October 12, 2008



OCTOBER 12 2008

By Kipkirui K’Telwa

As the Kipsigis MPs continue whining, one is left wondering why they can’t quit ODM party, which Raila Odinga leads.

It is true they voted for ODM to the last man in the last General Election, which unfortunately turned chaotic and led to formation of the Grand Coalition Government. But that is all. They got one full ministerial and two assistant ministerial positions, which went to the late Kipkalya Kones, the late Lorna Laboso and Mr Charles Keter.

It is also unfortunate the Kipsigis, since December 27 polls, have lost three politicians, Kones (Bomet), Laboso (Sotik) and Kimutai Too (Ainamoi).

Beyond post-election chaos, the Kipsigis have more pressing challenges than sympathising with a party that did not sponsor them to Parliament as some did during just-concluded Bomet and Sotik by-elections.

And if they have suddenly discovered Raila is not the angel they thought he was, then they have many choices of leaders to run to.

There is Martha Karua leading a non-reversing 2012 presidential convoy. There is Kalonzo Musyoka’s ‘wiper miracle’, and Uhuru Kenyatta ‘must be in government’ vehicle.

In case these choices are limited, they can as well jump onto Kalembe Ndile’s party. After all, Kalembe knows more about squatters and eviction. Didn’t he yap about squatters until he was made Assistant Minister in charge of elephants?

In any case, the Kipsigis MPs’ ideology cannot be too special to fit into any of these guys’ thinking frame. I dare ask: How special are they?

Instead of whining and campaigning against their party from within, they can marshal the numbers required to come up with laws that serve their constituents’ interests. The much talked about majimbo is one of them.

It is impossible

One Samuel Cheraisi of Maryland argues: "I wish we could have the same passion fighting poverty and bringing forth development as we do peddling tribal hemlock". They should remember that this is the time to build the nation and therefore continuous fighting will end up destroying the team spirit. What ODM needs is team spirit and not jostling for positions.

Leaders should know that it is not possible to have a society where all party members lead. Neither is it possible for the party to cater for the unique interests of each member.

One would want to know whether these MPs were elected to become ministers or to represent their constituencies.

By spending more energy and time fighting Raila or complaining that their names were in the original Cabinet proposal list prepared by Agriculture Minister William Ruto, these MPs are making their re-election bid difficult. Ruto is not constitutionally empowered to appoint people to Cabinet. He is just another beneficiary of such appointments.

The Prime Minister, too, has 2012 re-election challenge and he cannot entrust his future to ever whining leadership never satisfied with their positions.