Let me belatedly endorse Aaron Cheruiyot of JAP for Kericho. This is purely out of friendship and history.
I joined Moi around the same time Aaron Cheruiyot was returning from suspension to continue with his studies.
As a first year, it was the interview with ‘Aarona’- as we knew him- that Okeri Orina posted on Moi University Press Club, 3rd Eye, which made me start campus writing, eventually joining students politics and winning an election.
Even then I didn’t agree much with Cheruiyot. He was already a Ruto agent and his brief, which he performed to perfection, was then to to create conditions for Rift Valley exit from ODM.
I remember one day at the student centre together with Mwamburi Mwang’ombe, Orina, Omar (then SG), Onyango Karega (then Chair), Hon Kongere, Macharia Wa Njoki, Osoo Yulemsoo, Kura Kipkura, Fredrick Odero, Collins Bett and others debating the divisive ICC indictments which had just been served on ‘Ocampo six’.
Ruto had blatantly roped in Raila as the one who took them to the ICC and across Kalenjin land it was the main issue. Aaron was among those who never wanted to hear of the little matter of ”don’t be vague, let’s go to The Hague” choruses which the then ODM rebels coalescing around Ruto had peddled prior to the confirmation of charges.
Soon after the debate, Aaron called me aside and told me ‘Dikembe, ni siasa’. The import was eventhough it was not true that Odinga had fixed Ruto, Ruto wanted it that way. ‘He wants to blame Raila and we must help him’, he told me.
Since that day, I knew Aaron had no political core. He wasn’t alone. One day in a class lecture we the ‘ODM group’ confronted a lecturer who was also peddling the same ‘Raila took Ruto to The Hague’ balderdash.
The lecturer, a Mr. Kogo, is now a chief executive in Trans Nzoia county.
Looking back, I can’t help but marvel at the political genius of Willaim Ruto, the man who turned a lie into a political truth and used it to romp to power.
Raila lost Rift Valley partly because the ODM grassroots machine was disorganized. At the university, for instance, though many politically conscious students identified with ODM and viciously supported Odinga, many did it without ever knowing what was going on. Some of us were defending Odinga on campus with our ‘bare’ minds while the likes of Aarona would be fed daily propaganda bits and pieces to unleash.
Before he left Moi later that year Aaron and I met many times, and each time we differed on The Hague issue.
At personal level he is good soul. When we met latest, now in Nairobi, Aarona still oozed the same fierce persuasive rhetoric that he has always employed to sell the DP.
At political level Aaron has no core, and is getting to parliament with none, which is a tragedy. Partly this can be explained by his suspension from the university, which I think ‘deradicalised’ him.
Partly it can be explained on account of his friendship with and admiration of the now deputy president – also a core-less politician.
But who in jubilee wants a young person with core? That’s not how the right functions.
Aaron deserves the Kericho seat to finish the ‘nothingness’ that defines Jubilee ‘achievements’ there.
Whether he wins or loses we are still friends. The fight is on. Endorsed, grudgingly.
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The hottest place in hell is reserved for comrades who don’t endorse each other.