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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Jap birth throws Trans Nzoia into tumult

Endebess MP Robert Pukose is a man under siege.  Of late, the URP MP has allegedly appointed himself the spokesperson of the party and the TNA partner under the Jubilee umbrella, drawing ire from the political divide in Trans Nzoia.
Pukose’s stature went a notch higher when URP carried the day during the by-election in Matumbei ward in the constituency.
Just before the by- election won by area ex-councillor Phillip Sakong, the Endebess surgeon MP had hinted that URP and TNA were considering backing one candidate in all seats in the county in the 2017 polls.
The legislator, who is among the parliamentary team on the health committee that met Deputy President William Ruto in Hague during the hearing of his case at ICC, had also dismissed New Ford Kenya NFK as a “stranger and guest” partner at the Jubilee coalition.
Pukose’s scheme includes the fielding of Mike Mbito as the Jap candidate for the governor’s seat alongside Kakai Bisau allied to FK, Eugene Wamalwa himself  and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa.
Mbito was Kakai’s running mate for the 2013 polls where the duo emerged second to Governor Patrick Khaemba. Lately, Mbito has become a close associate of top government officials.
Pukose’s remarks have since irked NFK politicians with the latest Saboti MP Lazaro Wafula cautioning that his Endebess counterpart was “treading on dangerous grounds”.
Lazaro asked Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto to partner to “tame” Pukose lest he “made Trans Nzoia an undemocratic county”.
The parliamentary employee turned legislator observed that Pukose was bound to fail the newly formed Jubilee Alliance of Party in Trans Nzoia if he insisted on Jap “one –candidate’’ in each elective post in the county.
“As a cosmopolitan county, Trans Nzoia can hardly accept coalitions of tribal groupings.  But we are begging to remain the Jubilee alliance. We have several options if we are pushed to the wall. Infact, we are currently reconsidering our stand in Jubilee.  We cannot accept to be belittled by a fellow MP.  We have several kilometres to walk before we can conclude our journey,” he said.
To back Lazaro was the Trans Nzoia women representative Janet Nangabo who said as a condition, Jubilee partners ought to embrace and accommodate co-operation and avoid antagonistic tendencies.
Nangabo also of NFK noted that as much as they supported the government of the day, NFK should not be regarded as “second-class and should be treated as equal”.
Also on the offensive was the Cherangany MP Wisley Korir who is said to have criticised Pukose’s stand of Jap going solo in Trans Nzoia.
Korir who stood as an independent candidate in the last general elections is reported to have dismissed Pukose’s plan as unworkable.
Also said to have intimated  Pukose’s new strategy as difficult was Uasin Gishu governor Julius Mandago who reportedly said that the style of the Endebess MP was not durable in a cosmopolitan county like Trans Nzoia.
If  Pokose’s plan was to be applied, some feel, there is going to emerge splits in Jap especially in Kwanza, Cherangany and Endebess constituencies.
For instance, they point out, Korir who seems to be angling towards URP may find it difficult joining hands with his rival Joshua Kuttuny for Cherangany seat.  There is no hiding that Kuttuny, one of  Uhuru’s advisers is the TNA choice and would want to prove his might against Korir in URP.
For Kwanza constituency, DP Ruto’s legal adviser Abraham Sing’oei will be torn between URP and TNA should Pukose’s idea of “one candidate” policy come to fruition.
Already, he has drawn the ire of the Trans Nzoia URP county boss  Nathan Psiwa who accuses him of having usurped his powers.
But Lazaro says NFK is not concerned with the Jap insignias and is determined to go ahead influencing its supremacy on Trans Nzoia voters ahead of 2017.
The Saboti legislator noted that NFK’s defeat at Matumbei was a wake-up call to the party but can not be taken as a measure to the 2017 performance.
He welcomed the disbandment of the Mabaga 2011 peace accord that saw Bukusus, Tesos and Sabaots share seats in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties in 2013 adding that NFK will join hands with other smaller affiliates of Jubilee to decide their next political destiny.