Migori County Secretary Christopher Rusana has dropped his gubernatorial bid, months after he led a successful funds drive for campaigns that netted millions of shillings.
Mr Rusana, who failed to resign when the February 9 deadline set for civil servants seeking elective positions to vacate office elapsed, described the decision as personal, while maintaining that he was still “open to consultations” on political matters.
The Nation has established that he instead signed a three-year contract to work in the same capacity.
Mr Rusana was categorical that he would not return the donations he had received from his close allies and well-wishers.
“It was difficult to accept the decision to drop my bid, which came after consulting stakeholders both in Migori and nationally. It was a personal decision which was hard to share with my supporters,” he said.
Though he will not run for governor, he said, he is “available to consult and reach an agreement and participate to ensure Migori gets a governor who puts (the interests) of Migori people first.”
“I am still a politician and will still actively participate in ensuring the county doesn’t slip into bad leadership,” he said.
“As for the campaign funds, no one has come out to seek reimbursement and I feel the matter should not be blown out of context. I have used the funds in driving my previous campaigns.”
Mr Rusana’s abrupt change of plans has left tongues wagging, with some residents terming the move insincere.
“It beats logic asking for campaign funds from people only to make an about-turn once he received the money. That is in bad faith,” noted Mr Samuel Migore, a resident of Suna West.
Mr Rusana’s decision not to run, he said, “ought to have been followed by returning the campaign funds”.
But others noted that he has the democratic right to make such political decisions.
“He must have weighed the stakes and found the race too demanding, forcing him to retreat. It is in his best interests, being aware that he may not make it,” said Mr Steve Juma.
Mr Rusana launched his gubernatorial bid in November last year in Suna West, where he was endorsed by Kuria and Suba elders in an event marred by teargas that was thrown into the dais.
Mr Rusana had convened elders and opinion leaders from Suna East and Suna West constituencies and blamed the attack on his rivals.
“The targeted attack has proven that people who keep saying I have no support base have panicked. Lobbing teargas into this function shows we are strong and nothing will stop our march to form the next government,” he said at the time.