Sossion, Woman Rep Korir reconcile with DP Ruto after disputed polls

Wilson Sossion

Deputy President William Ruto with nominated MP Wilson Sossion in Nairobi on October 11, 2021.

Photo credit: DPPS

What you need to know:

  • The moves are seen as an attempt by the politicians to redeem their political image following their losses in the primaries and discontent among the party's rank and file.

Two weeks after throwing political brickbats at top United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leadership over disputed nominations in Bomet County, ODM-nominated MP Wilson Sossion and Woman Representative Joyce Korir have sought to make amends.

Mr Sossion has announced he will campaign for Deputy President William Ruto for the presidency, while Mrs Korir met the DP on Wednesday and pledged her allegiance to UDA, in what was seen as a quest for political survival by the two politicians.

Mrs Korir and her Kericho counterpart Mrs Florence Bore, who also lost the nominations to Ms Beatrice Kemei, met with the Deputy President at his office in Karen, Nairobi, and pledged to back their opponents who received UDA certificates ahead of the General Election.

uda nominations Bomet Woman Representative Joyce Korir

Bomet Woman Representative Joyce Korir (left), Senator Christopher Langat (centre) and Bomet Gubernatorial aspirant Dr John Mosonik addressing journalists at Tenwek Boys High School. They alleged that UDA ballot papers were pre-marked and called for suspension of the nominations process in Bomet Central. 

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

The moves are seen as an attempt by the politicians to redeem their political image following their losses in the primaries and discontent among the party's rank and file.

“Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Florence Bore who vied for Woman Rep nomination in Kericho and Joyce Korir who contested in Bomet Central constituency. In a show of humility and leadership, they have both decided to support the winners in the August 9 general election,” wrote Dr Ruto on Twitter.

Mrs Korir posted a photo on social media showing her shaking hands with Dr Ruto, with Mrs Bore looking on and the caption: “The future is luminous #Kenya Kwanza”.

Mrs Korir lost to Mr Richard Kilel, a former employee of the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra), with area MP Ronald Tonui having announced he would bow out of elective politics after his second term ends in August.

Dr John Mosonik, a former Mining and Petroleum chief administrative secretary, who was seeking the party’s ticket for the Bomet governor’s seat alongside Governor Hillary Barchok, Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, Mr Sossion and Mrs Korir got into an acrimonious exchange on April 14 over allegations that some ballot papers had been pre-marked.

Mrs Korir was restrained by her supporters and aides as she attempted to physically assault Mr Hillary Sigei, a Nairobi-based lawyer and senator aspirant, at the Tenwek High School grounds, the tallying centre for the Bomet Central constituency.

Dr Mosonik, Dr Langat, Mr Sossion and Ms Korir accused Governor Barchok and Mr Sigei for allegedly masterminding the nomination malpractices to skew the vote in their favour.

Prof Barchok and Mr Sigei quickly rejected the claims and challenged the politicians to table tangible evidence linking them to the alleged manipulation of voting.

Dr Mosonik later conceded defeat, agreed to back Governor Barchok in the elections and fended off claims he would settle for the running mate position, saying he was “above it and the matter is out of the question”.

That paved the way for Prof Barchok to focus on the fight ahead between him and Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader Isaac Ruto, in what is expected to be a hotly contested poll.

Dr Langat and Mr Sossion, who eventually lost in the UDA Senate nominations to Mr Sigei, rejected the results and threatened to have one of them run as an independent candidate against their opponent.

“UDA leadership consists of a bunch of crooks and thieves out to install their business associates in leadership positions so as to facilitate theft of taxpayers' money both at the national and county governments after the August General Election,” claimed Mr Sossion at a press conference.

Mr Sossion, a former secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), said the people would have a chance to pick an independent candidate in the August polls and redeem themselves from the “imposed UDA candidate”.

“Why were some aspirants in Bomet allowed to secretly appoint presiding officers and clerks? The outcome they intend to announce will be capsizing the ship as the people of Bomet will now allow a process that will install thieves in position. It is about business interests…” Mr Sossion said.

But on Wednesday, he appeared to have eaten humble pie with the announcement that he would campaign for DP Ruto for the presidency, a sudden U-turn from the hardline position he held earlier.

“As a principled leader, beyond party nominations, my singular duty shall be campaigning hard for UDA Kenya’s presidential candidate, DP William Ruto and the bottom up economic model as earlier committed,” Mr Sossion wrote on Twitter.

“The biggest prize in this election is the Presidency and that is where I will place my energy and efforts. Through the WSR/the Bottom Up, Economic Recovery and poverty reduction measures shall fall in place.”

The move leaves Dr Langat on his own, with his supporters pressuring him to run as an independent candidate against Mr Sigei, who has another fight on his hands with CCM candidate Mr Enock Kemei.

“I am consulting my supporters and other stakeholders before giving a final word next week on the next course of action,” Dr Langat told the Nation by telephone on Thursday.

The politicians making peace with the DP are said to be keen on appointments to various positions if he wins the presidency and succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta in the General Election.