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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 31 August 2014


Supporters of Kericho senator Charles Keter have threatened to heckle and boo Bomet county governor Isaac Ruto and  Wilfred Lesan instantaneously and directly without respecting them if they dare visit Kericho.

This comes hot on the heels of a recent incident in which Senator   Keter was heckled and booed by proponents of referendum push by supporters of Cord leader Raila Odinga.

They are demanding an unconditional apology from their cousins in Bomet county who jeered the senator at a church function in the county. A former Roads minister who hails from  Kericho was  quick in calling  for tolerance amongst proponents and opponents of the referendum.

Senator Keter was heckled when supporters of Deputy President   William Ruto and Governor Ruto clashed over calls for a referendum during a fundraiser at Marinyin Catholic Church in Bomet Central.

 Kericho county is home of the  Kipsigis  subtribe of the Kalenjin  community. The Kipsigis dominate Kericho and Bomet counties but those residing in Kericho are bitter with their brothers and sisters from Bomet following allegations of an uprising of proponents of Cord-led referendum in Bomet county which is a Jubilee strong hold.

The insurgence which is led by Governor Ruto was played out in the open during the church fundraiser but directed to Senator Keter, an act which residents of Kericho viewed as disrespectful to the electorate from the county who elected Keter to represent them in the senate.

At the Kericho press association office on  Sunshine Upperhill Motel, Yokozuna  Rotich led supporters of the senator drawn from Buret, Ainamoi, Belgut and Kipkelion subcounties in demanding an apology from their cousins from Bomet county, adding that  it should be accompanied by a written  explanation why their senator was jeered alongside Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. Rotich said that it was disrespective to those who voted for him as  their  senator  and that  all residents of Kericho county deserve a written apology with clear vindication  and enlightenment as to why they decided to heckle Keter and not  Prof Lesan.

 “We should let our cousins be aware that we will also heckle their governor and the senator    Lesan anytime they visit us in Kericho where they frequent and even own property. How can you heckle Keter when Keter is not the president or the deputy? If you have an issue to settle with the central government, face the right persons not our senator!” warned Rotich.

Frankline Bett, a former comptroller of State House during President Moi  regime and Roads minister in Mwai Kibaki’s regime  blamed this on lack of tolerance and disrespect of leaders in opposing camps.

“We all have our rights constitutionally to express our feelings  or standpoint but it should be in an orderly manner without disrespecting others and looking down upon each other because today’s opposition  is tomorrow’s government,” Bett said .

The former  Cord director of election  also said that the ultimatum for more resources in the county should be accompanied with accountability from the counties where money allocated must be seen to have developed and used for the intended projects.

Bett said internal auditors are sometimes compromised not to report misuse of funds allocated for development projects in the counties yet it is the same county governors who are asked to account for money already used wrongfully.

He said the operations of the central government should be replicated in the counties where if a minister appointed by the governor has poor books of accounts, he is called upon to account appear before committee (parliamentary) and not the appointing authority (president)
Bett expressed his disapproval of the heckling of senators in Bomet county and censured leaders whom he revealed were intolerant to each other leading the public to copy from them and confront their leaders during functions.

“I will blame leaders themselves who don’t respect each other and as they become examples to mimic by the public who will abuse you just because you are in the opposing camp. Remember in the same measure, you shall receive even in evil,” he rebuked.

The former minister called upon the public to act with respect when dealing with matters with political bearing adding that it leads to chaos which would otherwise have been avoided.
Belgut West MP Eric Keter led  Jubilee supporters in Kericho town to condemn  utterances by Kericho governor earlier in the week that leaders in the county supported  Cord in its push for the  referendum.

Keter had accompanied Deputy President Ruto during his tour in Narok and Bomet county. Nevertheless,  Keter said that the allegations were ill-timed and misplaced since all MPs in Kericho supported Jubilee initiatives to deliver on the pleas they made during electioneering period.

The MP said that  Jubilee score board was  to provide good roads, water, education and electricity to all families in the country among other promises and that they have little time to spend on referendums which will not only use taxpayers money, but waste on the time they were given by Kenyans to develop and deliver.

Keter who was flanked by Alhaj Kiptanui from Interfaith and Cherono Omar, an official from women group in South Rift, denied claims they were rooting for the referendum as alleged  by Governor Paul Chepkwony and  stating some of those agitating for the referendum were the same people who supported the constitution during the 2005 referendum that it was perfect, order and fit for Kenyans.

 Omar warned Governor Chepkwony against generalising his utterances as if they were the views of the entire county and advised him to be particular when making personal statements on an issue such as the referendum.

“Your governor can’t force you to make any decision about referendum or any other national matter when the constitution is very clear that this will be a personal matter without influence. We are not supporting a referendum and he should be told to stop deciding for us,” she told the governor.

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