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Mt Elgon Constituency, where voters defied party euphoria.
By DANIEL PSIRMOI- Posted March 25th 2013.

Perhaps Mt Elgon in Bungoma County is the only constituency where not a single or coalition of parties can boast or be embittered to have either carried the day or lost it all in the just concluded General Election. With only the presidential vote indicating a slight inclination to the Jubilee coalition the trend in other elective seats was such party inelastic that attempt to read preference for any particular party would be quite a futile task.

For a start, despite being endorsed to a few days prior to the poll day by the URP leader who is also the Deputy president-elect William Ruto, the immediate former area MP Fred Kapondi (URP Candidate) failed to recapture his seat in a fierce contest that saw his archrival John Serut (Independent Candidate) emerge the winner.The residents propelled Serut to an emphatic victory with 20, 821 votes against 13, 843 votes garnered by his closest opponent Fred Kapondi.

The good people of Mt. Elgon then proceeded to send a clear message to the Governor elect of Bungoma County and former PS Kenneth Lusaka by delivering a staggering 36,005 ballots into his kraal of votes; the highest number he garnered in any one of the nine constituencies in Bungoma County. Well, one could argue that Lusaka who made his bid on a New Ford Kenya ticket cashed in on the pre-election arrangement that saw him pick his running mate from the constituency, a former teacher Hilllary Chongwony. Never mind that three other Bungoma County gubernatorial candidates also picked their running mates from Mt. Elgon.

Though Musikari Kombo(NFK) senatorial bid proved more popular with the Mountaineers where he floored the Ford Kenya leader who is now the Bungoma County Senator-elect Moses Wetang’ula by garnering 23560 against the latter’s 10 637 votes.

Interestingly, the same unique voting pattern was replicated in the member of the county assemblies, where among the six county assembly wards; none of the elected county representatives are in the same party.

The county representatives include: Peter Cherui of Kaptama Ward (independent candidate), Benson Simiyu of Kapkateny ward (Ford Kenya), Enock Chemorion( Alliance Party of Kenya), Ben Kipkut, Chesikaki ward(URP),  Godwin Ndege, Elgon Ward (New Ford Kenya) and Jane Kamwanja Chebet of Cheptais Ward(ODM).

It is equally intriguing to note that even the candidates who never showed that much sync with the local voters fared relatively well; for instance, though the President-elect ran with the bigger chunk of votes-29, 297, Raila and Mudavadi did not do badly with each bagging 7,958 and 5, 289 votes respectively.

That Mt. Elgon constituency is inhabited predominantly by the Sabaot who through kinship with the Kalenjin literally call each other brothers, apparently, these ties failed to invoke the kind of euphoria enough to deliver Mt. Elgon constituency head to toe to in the URP basket. The exemplary display of democracy is breathtaking considering that the region is yet to fully put to rest the ghost of 2007/2008 post election violence when the dreaded SLDF militia visited atrocities of untold nature on the locals before they were squashed by a combined force of the police and Kenyan military. I once read somewhere that ‘it is easier to change everyone else except ourselves’ perhaps herein could be alesson to Kenyans who have seized the cyberspace and are busy spewing ethnic vitriol to wake up and smell the coffee…..Mt. Elgon might be a better place to start with.


Sabaots rejoice as "Mt. Elgon Dream" comes true!
By Daniel Psirmoi- March 2nd 2013.

, Kenya: As Kenyans celebrated the Uhuru Kenyatta win of the last week presidential contest, Mt Elgon residents described the win as a dream, born in that area, come true.

The residents received with jubilation the election of Uhuru as the 4th president, saying the "Project Uhuru" was born at Kapsokwony, a local center more than a decade ago.

They said they had interest in a Uhuru presidency because former President Moi made his first endorsement of Uhuru presidency at Kapsokwony in 2002.

Congratulates Uhuru

Residents, who were following the presidential results as they were being released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, burst into songs to celebrate Uhuru’s victory.

Professionals from the Sabaot community both in Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia counties sent their congratulatory messages to the president-elect.

Speaking separately to The Standard, the professionals led by Hillary Masai arap Bokose, the Bungoma County Kuppet chairman, who also chairs the Elgon Professionals Association, said the community was proud to be associated with Uhuru, as he was first endorsed for the seat by former President Moi in the area.

“The locals are sentimental about Uhuru presidency because he was first endorsed by former President Moi for the seat at Kapsokwony in 2002,” said Bokose.

The Kuppet chair said the resounding victory Jubilee team got from the constituency was a testament to the connection the people have with Uhuru.

“We wish the new government success in the implementation of their manifesto. We hope he won’t forget us as his 11-year-old journey began here,” he said.

Former President Moi first named Uhuru as his preferred successor in Mt Elgon in July 2002 during a fundraising organised by professionals from the community for the Kapsokwony District Hospital.

Moi reportedly defended his declaration in the harambee by saying it was his democratic right.

Break trend

Vincent Sambrir, the EPA Secretary-General, who was in the committee that organised the harambee, said yesterday they are happy the dream of the former president has come true.

He said the group plans to erect a monument in honour of Uhuru in Kapsokwony.

Sambrir said they hope professionals from their marginalised community will not be sidelined in government appointments, as it has been the norm in previous regimes.

Source: Standard Media-Kenya.


Kapondi Defeated as Serut Makes a Comeback in Mt. Elgon Elections.
By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted 10th March 2013.

Newly Elected Mt. Elgon MP John Serut with her daughter after receiving certificate. [Photo by Daniel Psirmoi]

The immediate former Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi failed to recapture his seat 
after he was beaten defeated in the polls by his bitter rival John Bomet Serut. Serut himself a former area MP(2002-2007)  garnered 20,821 to emerge the winner against Kapondi of URP, a close ally of William Ruto  who got 13,843 in what will perhaps go down as one of the fiercely contested elections in the history of the constituency

Serut, a former Assistant Minister for Planning, vied for the seat as an independent candidate. He ditched URP in November last year citing lack of internal democracy and alleging that  a scheme has been hatched by the then
incumbent MP Fred Kapondi in conjunction with URP’s top leadership to rig him out in the Mt.Elgon constituency parliamentary nominations.

The dream of twelve other contenders also came to an abrupt end in what seemingly was a two horse race. Harry Kimtai of New Ford Kenya come a distant third with 2,575votes followed by Arnold Maswa (UDF) 1, 713. Others were  Peter Kitelo(RBK)1407, Samson Kiboi (ODM)869, former area  MPJoe Kimkung Naibei (KANU)506, Peter Kibet (UDM) 455, Sammy Ibrahim Kaplang’at (Ford-K)425 and John Komon Ng’ononin (FPK)290. 
Benard Mong’ou ( PPK)-253, Bramwel Murgor (NVP), Rose Soet (KENDA)180 and Michael Kawon Kirui completed the list in that order.

Speaking at tallying center in Kibuk Girls High School after being given his certificate by the IEBC Returning Officer Geoffrey Gitobu, the MP elect Serut thanked the constituents for giving him the opportunity to serve as their MP for the second time and promised that his will be an all inclusive leadership.

Serut said he had learnt a lot in the five years when he was in the political cold after he lost in 2007, he pledged to complete ongoing projects initiated by his predecessor.

“ No project that was started  by CDF project will be abandoned as it has been the welcome all my rivals to join hands with me and assist in building Mt Elgon.” ,he said, adding  that he won’t neglect those from areas  that did not vote for him.

He revealed that top on his agenda now will be to see the completion of the Kamukuywa- Kaptama- Kapsokwony-Kopsiro Road tarmacking project that was launched by Mwai Kibaki  in October 2007 when he was the area MP.

“The road project that was to take 30 months has taken over 5 years and it has not been done  even half-way, worse still it has been rerouted to Maeni in Kimilili which was not in the original plan, it  must be completed  in the first two years of my term,  ” he said.

Meanwhile Mt Elgon, perceived to be a stronghold of URP posted interesting results in the different posts. Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee coalition got 29, 297 against Raila Odinga of CORD who got 5, 289. 
For Senator’s position Musikari Kombo( NFK) shined, he got 23, 556  votes while Lawrence Sifuna(URP) got 1,798. Moses Wetangula came second with 10,637.

Gubernatorial candidate  Ken Lusaka( New Ford-K)  garnered 36,005, his main competitor Alfred Khangati of ODM got 3,904  while Cosmas Basara of  TNA got 1,537.  Dr. Reginalda Wanyonyi the women representative post  got 17921 votes from the area.
                                                            Author: Daniel Psirmoi- Standard Media (Kenya) Journalist.


Elections-Kenya: Bruising Battle of Titans amongst Mt. Elgon Former MP's. By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted 6th February, 2013.

The race for the Mt. Elgon parliamentary seat in the beginning of this year had attracted over 15 parliamentary aspirants, the largest number ever, but the number was downsized in the recent nominations held last week to 8.

The re-election of the immediate former MP Fred Kapondi in the March 4th general election faces an acid test as two former area legislators- his predecessor John Serut (2002-2007) and Joseph Kimkung who was the area MP ( 1997-2002), considered to be the front-runners for the seat- have emerged to end his stay in power.

Of the trio, it is only Kapondi who participated in the recent party primaries, where he emerged the winner in a hotly disputed race, becoming the flag bearer of United Republican Party (URP).

Serut bolted out of William Ruto's led URP in November last year where he was expected to give Kapondi, his bitter political rival, a run for his money. The former Assistant Minister of Planning alleged that a plot had been hatched by some top URP officials to rig him out of the nominations. He will now vie for the seat as an independent ticket.

In a recent interview with Serut, he says he is still popular and has a wide following in the vast constituency. He added that he is not worried about any aspirant.

Top on the list of the agenda of the former lawmaker if he gets elected to parliament he says is to complete stalled projects begun during his tenure that have been neglected or diverted during Kapondi's era.  Most significant one being the tarmacking of the Kamukuywa- Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Kopsiro-Namwela road project launched in October 2007 by President Mwai Kibaki .

“This was my pet project that was supposed to take 30 months and it would have benefitted the people of Mt Elgon a great deal if it was completed, but sadly 5 years down the line the project has not been completed, worse still is that the road was diverted to  Maeni in Kimilili  after it reached Kapsokwony, which was not part of the plan,” Serut said,  pointing an accusing  finger at his successor who he observed that he did not raise an objection when the road construction was re-routed.

Kimkung on the other hand has been campaigning on a platform of peace, casting an image of a ‘safe pair of hands’ and a peaceful leader to lead Mt Elgon. Notably many residents aver that   Kimkung’s tenure was characterized with peace and there was no division along the sub-groups of the Sabaot community as witnessed in the era of his two predecessors.   It is this point which the former assistant minister, who is close ally of Gideon Moi has capitalized on in his meet the people tours in the constituency. “With the polarized nature of Mt Elgon politics and the recent bad history of our constituency, it is important that the constituents elect a sober leader who they know can change the fortunes of the voters; having worked as an area MP, I am the most suited one," Kimkung told The County Weekly, adding that he initiated a lot of development projects in the constituency when there was no CDF through harambees presided over by his high profile friends in the government then. “Most importantly Mt Elgon did not have the bad name it has now, not a single person lost his life because of being butchered or shot during my tenure,” recalled Kimkung who is on record for calling upon  local political aspirants to conduct peaceful and joint campaigns.


When contacted for comment, Kapondi, who was the parliamentary chairman of the committee on Administration and National Security, said that the verdict is with the voters, he however exuded confidence that he will recapture his seat saying that he will make history. The lawmaker noted with concern  that  from 1997, all Mt. Elgon MP's have served one term, he said he has advised the voters against this trend saying that elected leaders should be  given time to build their leadership profile. He appeals to the constituents to give him a second term saying he needs five more years to accomplish the development projects he started.  "When you plant a tree and you keep uprooting, when you are going to fetch wood from it?" he was quoted asking when he launched his campaign at Cheptais High school early this month.

Others  who will be in the ballot alongside the three on 4th March include; Harry Kimtai (New Ford Kenya), Arnold Maswa (United Democratic Front), Peter Kitelo (Restore and Build Kenya), Benard Mung'ou,(People’s Party of Kenya), Bramuel Murgor( National Vision Party), Richard Wekesa (Federal Party of Kenya) and Peter Kibarak (United Democratic Movement). END
                                                                           Source: The Standard Media - Kenya.

Mt. Elgon Constituency 
Kenya 2013 Elections Candidates:

Name: Hon. Fred Kapondi
Party: URP (JUBILEE Coalition)
Profile: Bachelor in Political Science from Nairobi University.


Name: John Serut
Party: Independent candidate
Profile: Former MP 2002-2007
Name: Arnold Maswa
Party: UDF (AMANI Coalition)

Name: Harry Kimtai
Party: New Ford Kenya (Amani Coalition)

Name: Joseph Kimkung
Party: KANU (AMANI Coalition)
Profile: Fromer MP 2002-2007

Endebes Constituency 
Kenya 2013 Elections Candidates:

Name: Janepher Masis
Party: Wiper (CORD Coalition)
Goal: "I stand for peace, inclusiveness and diversity. For us to create jobs and reduce poverty considerably,this can not be done in absentia of peace. Any leader who has a contrary opinion on peace, should be rejected even before the ballot. Endebess is a cosmopolitan constituency and this remains a fact. Nobody should be made to feel like he is a foreigner and that he needs a favor to stay! I promise to protect the life and property of all Endebes constituents and our neighbors! If you choose me as your leader then you have chosen a continuous development for the next five years!

Name: Dr. Robert Pukose
Party: URP (JUBILEE Coalition)
Goal: "I belief that it is the responsibility of the m.p. to inspire and create opportunities for his constituents without discrimination nor being dishonest.We are all equal before God and therefore all communities must live in harmony and coexist without fear or favor".

Sabaoti Constituency 
Kenya 2013 Elections Candidates:

Name: Leonard Moss
Party: ODM (CORD)
Profile: Bachelors of Arts (Hons.) fromUniversity of Poona (India)
Post Graduate in International Relations from Stockholm University, Sweden; Project Planning and Management graduate from New York University, USA.
Former General Manager (Personnel & Administration) at Kenya Airports Authority and currently the Managing Director at Ankip Enterprises Southern Sudan Limited and P&M Consortium International Construction Company Ltd at the Republic of South Sudan.

Name: Jonas Kuko
Party: URP (JUBILEE Coalition)

Lawrence Mogosu
Party: TNA (JUBILEE Coalition)


Kapondi wins URP Nominations in Mt. Elgon as rival cries foul.
By Daniel Psirmoi.

The immediate former Mt Elgon MP Fred  Kapondi bid to recapture his seat got a boost after he won the URP primaries garnering 16,235 votes, results which have been strongly disputed by his sole opponent Michael Kawon Kirui.

Speaking to The Standard,  Michael Kawon said that the whole exercise was a sham and called for a repeat of the elections.
" The URP nominations exercise was marred with irregularities, I call upon the NEC to nullify the results from Mt. Elgon,'' said Kawon.

He claimed that he actually was supposed to be the rightful winner but the former MP was fraudulently declared the flag-bearer of the party by URP NEC after being given results by the URP Bungoma County Returning Officer.

" I won in all election centers in five wards out of six in Mt. Elgon, Kapondi won in Cheptais/ Chesikaki ward, how can he be declared a winner?'' Kawon asked. "The County Returning officer was compromised because he was seen moving around the constituency with the MP's official car."

Mr. Kawon said he was consulting widely with his friends and lawyer, hinting that he may move to the courts to petition.

According to the URP Mt Elgon Constituency Returning Officer Fanuel Cheminingwa,  Michael Kawon emerged  the winner beating Kapondi by over 2,000 votes.
"From what I received from the polling stations, Michael Kawon got 5,928 against Fred Kapondi who got 3,926 Votes. I  furnished the URP National office with the same figures, and I wonder how the came up with 16,000 for Kapondi," he said. The Returning Officer observed that less than 10,000 voted in the primaries noting that the official results was an inflated figure. He faulted the use of Mlolongo (queing) system adding that some voters were threatened and forced to vote for one of the candidates. 

The winners in the other parties included; Arnold Maswa UDF (3,478) New Ford_K Harry Kimtai(6,056) Ford_K Sammy Chepkondol(1,601). ODM results were not out by the time of going to the press. Allan Mayiek, Samson Kiboi and Sammy Chemwey are battling for the ticket. The winners will be in the ballot for the parliamentary race with two former area MP’s John Serut (Independent candidate) and Joseph Kimkung’ (KANU), Bramuel Murgor (NationalVision Party) and Richard Wekesa (Federal Party of Kenya) who had no opponents.

Source: Standard Media, Kenya.