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Former ODM chairman Henry Kosgey non-committal despite pressure that he joins JAP

By Titus Too | March 22nd 2015

ELDORET: Despite recent overtures from Jubilee Alliance Party leaders in Rift Valley and claims that former Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey was headed to the party, the former long-serving Cabinet Minister has remained silent.

Last week, Kosgey broke his silence but remained non-committal on his next political move, telling his supporters that he was enjoying political recess, thus keeping his political cards close to his chest.

In a candid interview with The Standard on Sunday, Kosgey said he had neither officially been approached for such a position nor had he made inquiries or sought favours from anybody.

“I am enjoying my political rest; I have not been in any consultation with any political party nor have they reached me for any kind of discussion,” said Kosgey, a former chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement.

In recent weeks, talk has been rife that he was poised to be appointed chairman of the Jubilee Alliance Party, the political vehicle that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto plan to use for their re-election bid in 2017.

But despite Kosgey’s stance, some leaders are still proposing that he becomes the party’s national chairman.

During a church function also attended by Tinderet MP Julius Melly and Nandi County Women Representative Zipporah Kering at Fr Martin Boyle Academy in Tinderet, Nandi County, Deputy Governor Dominic Biwot demanded that Kosgey be appointed to lead the party.

Others who voiced similar calls were Isiolo and Bomet deputy governors Mohamed Guleid and Stephen Mutai, and local Members of the County Assembly, who urged Kosgey to join JAP and provide ‘political guidance’ because he was the most senior active politician in the Rift Valley. “Kosgey is my former MP and we respect him. As leaders in Rift Valley, we consider him best suited to be chairman of JAP. We want him to come in and give us his expertise,” said Melly.

The MP described the former ODM chairman as a staunch supporter of the Jubilee government.

But an MP from Uasin Gishu, who sought anonymity, took a different position, arguing that some may want Kosgey kept busy because he could pull strings at the grassroots.

“Apart from the fact that he has financial muscle, he could easily mentor other upcoming politicians and make life difficult for those who are currently holding party positions. That is why they will be happy when he is chairing JAP and moving around the region and other parts of the country,” said the MP.

But Kering differs and describes Kosgey as a mentor for a number of political leaders: “We have urged him to join us because we want unity. JAP is popular among Kenyans and we are all behind it.”


Kosgey has kept a low profile since he lost the Nandi County senatorial seat on an ODM ticket.

Following the announcement of a planned TNA/URP merger, there were calls on vernacular radio stations from listeners in the Rift Valley urging Kosgey to join JAP and offer leadership.

“The callers made their opinion known and I am aware of this. But I am happy because I am now relaxed and even furthering my education,” stated Kosgey.

Reacting to similar calls at a church function, Kosgey urged those making these calls to concentrate on giving their children quality education.

Kosgey, who has served as a cabinet minister in various portfolios, told the gathering he handed over his position in ODM in February, last year, and therefore did not have a demanding political engagement.

“Some people say they are missing me but I am always at home. I am not far away and I am very happy because I know the water will always find its level,” Kosgey told the congregation at Fr Boyle Academy.

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