Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso
With battle lines drawn for the August 8 polls, fierce political contests are on, especially in some pro-Jubilee counties in the Rift Valley where heavyweights will fight for the party’s ticket.
In Bomet County, the race for the Jubilee Party (JP) ticket for the governor’s seat will have Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso and former Konoin MP Julius Kones.
Other candidates are Bomet Deputy Governor Stephen Mutai and former Local Authority Permanent Secretary Sammy Kirui, but their candidatures seem overshadowed by the contest between Laboso and Kones.
In recent past, Laboso and Kones have gone for each others’ neck in a bid to win support from locals, as they crisscross the county to popularise their bids.
Dr Kones, who until recently was the chairman of the National Water and Pipeline Corporation, has asked residents to pick him as the Jubilee candidate, saying he was the one suitable to take on Governor Isaac Ruto.
Ruto, who was elected on URP ticket in 2013, is defending his seat using his new Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM).
Kones, who narrowly lost to Ruto in the last elections, says he has learnt his lesson well and is ready to send the governor home in August.
“I am the better option in this race. You remember I lost to Governor Ruto not because my mathematics were wrong, but because of dirty tricks used and I am now ready to employ better tricks and revenge this time round,” he says.
In a veiled attack at Laboso, Kones says the race should be left for men to battle out, saying women should try their luck in the Woman Rep’s seat.
However, the sentiments have not gone down well with Laboso who has vowed to carry on with his quest.
The Sotik legislator maintains she will not change her mind, adding that she has the qualities and is ready to take on the men in the race.
“I am here to stay in the race as a woman and those men who are already getting scared should brace themselves for a tough battle,” she says.
Laboso has been Sotik MP since 2008 when she was elected to replace her sister, Lorna Laboso, who died in a helicopter crash in Narok, alongside then Bomet Central MP Kipkalya Kones.
Her marriage has been a subject during campaigns in the region and she has been forced to fight the tag. Laboso was born in Sotik but is married outside the county.
The legislator asks the electorate to ignore those using her marriage against her, saying locals should only concentrate on the agenda she has for the people of Bomet.
“It does not matter how many times they say that I am married to an outsider, that will not distract my intentions to guarantee the people of Bomet better services,” she says.