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Ruto sponsored my son to finish me, says Kones

By Gilbert Kimutai | May 7th 2017 | 4 min read
Former Minister Kipkalaya Kones's son Kevin Kipngetich with Governor Isaac Ruto who is eyeing Bomet East parliamentary seat on an CCM ticket. Kipngetich is set to faceoff with her mother Beatrice Kones who won teh Jubilee nomination early this week.PHOTO BY GILBERT KIMUTAI/STANDARD.

Bomet East Jubilee parliamentary candidate Beatrice Kones has spoken for the first time about the competition between her and her son Kevin Kipngetich Kalya ahead of August 8 polls.

The former Home Affairs assistant minister and widow of former Cabinet minister Kipkalya Kones will face off with her first born son in the race for Bomet East seat in the General Election. Kipngetich is vying on a Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) ticket.

Kones revealed her fears that her family could disintegrate because of the building tension generated by the competition and she blames it all on CCM party leader Isaac Ruto for allegedly pushing for her son’s candidature.

Kones claimed Ruto was using her son to fight her politically and denies allegations that she was riding on the name of her late husband to win the seat.

“Ruto wants to see my family disintegrate so that he does not face any challenge in his bid to rule the Kipsigis politics,” she said.

Undermine her

Mrs Kones said the Bomet Governor was out to undermine her. She told her critics that she had come of age in politics since her husband left the scene and should therefore be rated on her own strength and capability.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Ruto is using my son to fight me politically as part of a wider scheme to make sure there is no one politically active in my family because he wants to take over as a Kipsigis spokesman,” she said.

“Ruto expected me to vie on CCM so that his party looks strong because of my political strength, but after I abandoned his camp he started working sleeplessly to bring me down.”

Kones said her son is a good leader and Ruto is aware of it and all he wants is to destroy his future in politics.

She spoke candidly about family meetings that fronted Kipngetich to vie on a Jubilee ticket two years ago.

“We asked him several times two years ago to run for the seat on my behalf but he turned down the request, saying he was not prepared and when I had decided to take it up myself he came out on a CCM ticket,” Kones said.

She claimed that Ruto must have used money to lure him to run for the same seat.

Mrs Kones however expressed optimism that her son will heed her calls to step down and back her candidature.

“We have talked and he thought Jubilee nomination would not favour me. Now he must have seen the overwhelming support I got and he should back down and support me,” she said.

She revealed that they were engaging in talks ahead of the elections and was optimistic that they would reach a deal.

Kipngetich however rubbished the allegations that Governor Ruto was using him to fight his mother.

He said he was his own person in the race and there was nobody behind his quest. “I am on my own in this and the allegation that I am being pushed is not true at all,” said Kipngetich.

He said he has been nursing political ambitions since the time of his father and would not wish to delay any further.

“I officially entered politics in 2013 but because my mother was defending her seat, which she clinched after the death of my father, I went for the Langat seat in Nairobi County, but this time round I’m back to where I think I can play politics well,” Kipngetich said.

Political observers however believe there is more than a family contest in the race.

Lending credence to the allegation by Mrs Kones, Gilbert Soi, a political observer and university lecturer, says the region is being treated to the political drama that was witnessed between Kipkalya Kones and Ruto during the Moi regime.

“Everyone is aware about the competition between Governor Ruto and former minister Kones’s family for the control of Bomet politics and we are witnessing a return of that competition,” says Soi.

“Even after the demise of Kones, we saw Ruto fight with Mrs Kones who had succeeded him as an MP purposely as a show of supremacy.”

Soi says the country should prepare for more showdown with Ruto if Mrs Kones clinches the seat.

“Mrs Kones seems to be overpowering her son and this is a possible chance for political showdown with the governor who is fronting the young Kones in a clear plot to lock the region under his control,” said the political observer.

Baseless allegations

When contacted, Ruto dismissed the allegation by Konesas baseless.

“Kevin joined CCM on his own accord like all the other members. He declared interest for the Bomet East parliamentary seat, contested in the party primaries and won against three other candidates. He became the party’s flag-bearer through a free, fair and democratic process. He is the people’s candidate,” Ruto said.

“I have no issue with Mrs Kones at all. But politics is about policies and numbers and CCM does not engage in name calling, character assassination or side shows as our campaign is issue-based.”

He exuded confidence that Kipngetich will win the race.

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