He is now back at the centre of party activities especially in the Rift Valley, his home turf. In an interview with The Standard On Saturday over the 2007/2008 post-election-violence, the Tinderet MP defends Prime Minister Raila Odinga. He stands up for the PM over claims he could have had a hand in picking names of the ‘Ocampo Six’.
|ODM Chairman Henry Kosgey|
“I do not believe the PM had any role in naming ICC suspects and such claims are false. Raila advocated for a local tribunal, which Parliament voted against out of the instigation of some of The Hague suspects who thought ICC was better,” said Kosgey.
Kosgey said even after being named as one of the suspects, he had faith he would be vindicated because he knew he was innocent.
Kosgey, who predicts an ODM win in the General Election and a Raila presidency, talks of the reflections and soul-searching he underwent after the ICC pardon before deciding to stick with the party.
“After some long silence, I reflected on my next political move. My feeling was that we are at some political crossroads. I decided to stick with ODM, which I feel can push a national agenda that guarantees peace and justice for all. It’s a party that can take this country to the next level under this new Constitution,” said Kosgey.
The Tinderet MP noted it was time the public condemned instead of glorifying those using the tribal card to whip political support. “A worthy leader should think of the 40 million Kenyans and not a section of Kenyans along tribal lines,” added Kosgey.
QUESTION: Now that you are actively involved in ODM activities after being cleared by the ICC, and as the senior most party official in Rift Valley Province, what strategies have you put in place to strengthen the party and recover lost ground?
ANSWER: I and other elected MPs allied to ODM in the region are telling our people that their future lies in ODM. We are telling them they should resist being isolated on ethnic grounds and accept to be part and parcel of a wider Kenya.
One good thing is that people are realising this and they are changing and re-aligning themselves with ODM. ODM is the only party with a national outlook capable of taking the country to the next level under the new Constitution.
Your opponents in Rift Valley, especially the URP team, view leaders who have stuck with ODM as political traitors.
We are in ODM by choice and we are a good number of MPs. Those who are not with us are free to be where they are. I would like to state that I am not involved in wooing any MP to ODM or interested in personalised attacks on anyone.
Some of your supporters have suggested you be appointed Deputy Prime Minister and double up as Deputy Party leader. What is your take on this?
Yes, there are calls to have me appointed DPM and I have personally been challenged by my constituents on whether I am ready for the job or not.