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I lost my seat campaigning for Uhuru and Ruto - Joshua Kuttuny

By Jacob Ngetich | Saturday, Apr 15th 2017 at 08:58
Joshua Kuttuny speaks about life out of parliament, his relationship with DP William Ruto and what it was like working as Uhuru advisor

You were popular and a young, vibrant MP. Why do you think you lost to a greenhorn in the last elections?

In 2013, I was one of the key players in the formation of the Jubilee coalition. I failed to do serious campaigns in Cherangany and instead concentrated on national politics. I thought my constituents would understand and be kind to me, but wapi?

I was in for a rude shock. But, on the flip side, my efforts together with many others in Jubilee Coalition earned us the government; we were the underdogs. At the time, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy had cases at the International Criminals Court (ICC) and we were not sure of winning.

Though I lost my Cherangany seat, I am glad we clinched the presidency.

Over the years, I am sure you have learnt some political lessons. What is the one thing you can swear never to repeat?

Though the margin was small between me and my opponent, I mean less than 1,000 votes, I learnt something. You have to do your ground work.

All people want is to talk to them and listen to their problems. That is what I have done for the past four years.

You were President Uhuru’s political adviser. How was the experience?

President Kenyatta is a good listener. He never assumes stuff and will ask questions. Of course, he always took my advice. He is good guy to work with.

Your relation with Deputy President William Ruto has been cold...

I would term the relationship cordial. I respect him as the deputy President and a senior leader in Kalenjin land.

We have worked with him closely and he has this positive energy. When he puts his eye on a target, he does not miss. I look forward to working with him in future.

Being a politician you meet so many people and your life is action-packed. How was it being off politics for five years? Did you miss the limelight?

Honestly, you learn a lot. When you lose, you feel disappointed especially when you worked hard for the people, but life goes on. In my case, I was lucky since before I joined politics I was farming and doing different side hustles.

That has really helped me. I never got carried away by the trappings of power. It is sad when I see former politicians living a miserable life since they didn’t have a plan B.

Are you are running to recapture your former seat in Cherangany? How much cash goes into campaigns?

It depends on the size and population of the constituency and the opponents you are facing. Some will spend up to Sh30 million to win a seat. Personally, I don’t intend to use a lot of money.

You see, I have worked with my residents even when I was in parliament and therefore, it is easier to sell my agenda.

What have you missed the most about politics?

Nothing much changed. I love been with people. People are wealth, you learn a lot from interacting with them. It is an attribute I learnt from my father. He used to entertain people at home when we were young.

Do you think Jubilee Party has delivered? Why should Kenyans re-elect Uhuru?

Of course, Jubilee has delivered. But in politics, there are those who will see only see the negative. Such kind of people will only discuss what the government has not done and forget to mention what it has achieved.

But, let Kenyans decide. As for President Kenyatta, his re-election is secured by his performance. He will win in August. I am confident about that.

Which politician do you admire?

Former US President Barrack Obama. His oratory skills, his forthrightness and humility. He easily gets along with the common man, which is a quality most leaders lack.

I understand you don’t drink, how do you unwind?

I am a teetotaller. I saw how alcohol destroyed families and I vowed not to touch it. During my free time, I am always meeting people. I ensure I also spend quality time with my family.

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