|Alex Kosgey [Photo || Nation]
One of the most interesting father-son rivalries took on a new twist last week when Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey’s last born son, Alex, endorsed his father’s rival for the Nandi Senate seat.
The younger Kosgey stunned the public at a Jubilee rally in Kilibwoni, Nandi, when he threw his support behind his father’s rival, Stephen Sang, who is running for the seat on a URP ticket.
The junior Kosgey is running for the Emgwen parliamentary seat on a URP ticket.
The candidate told the crowd the region needs youthful politicians who are technologically savvy and energetic to steer development and improve livelihoods.
“Leadership in these times requires youthful leaders who have the skills and ideas to work under the devolved system of governance. That is why I choose to throw my weight behind my agemate and not my father,” Mr Kosgey said amid cheers from the crowd.
The move by the 31-year-old economics graduate from Manchester University in the United Kingdom is a blow to the minister’s political ambitions.
It will be interesting to see how the kinship ties between father and son unfold, although Mr Kosgey junior has reiterated that his divergent views will not affect his relations with his father.
The minister is facing stiff competition from Mr Sang, a lawyer young enough to be his son.
The 37-year-old expects to ride the popularity of URP leader William Ruto to claim the seat.
The elder Kosgey, who turns 67 in July, was disgruntled after Prime Minister Raila Odinga overlooked him and instead chose Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.
But Mr Kosgey stuck with the party and chose to run for the Senate seat instead. He is also on the party’s nomination list in case he fails in his bid.
The minister was among the key pointmen from the Rift Valley who remained loyal to the PM after Mr Ruto led a rebellion of MPs from the region after falling out with Mr Odinga.
Immediately after the deadline for forming coalitions and depositing the agreements with the electoral commission, a sullen Mr Kosgey held a meeting with the URP leader, and speculation was rife he would ditch the ODM party.
Besides opposition from his son, the younger Mr Kosgey faces yet another daunting task of bucking the URP tide sweeping across the region with its leader advocating a six-piece voting pattern.
Last year, the International Criminal Court gave a reprieve to the former Tinderet MP after it cleared him of crimes against humanity charges over the post-election violence.
The minister was also facing abuse of office charges in the Industrialisation ministry, which forced him to step aside to pave way for investigations.
He was later cleared and got back his job.
Before the Tenth Parliament was dissolved last month, the Industrialisation minister was the second longest serving MP after President Mwai Kibaki, having been first elected in 1979.
He has served in ministerial dockets in the Moi and Kibaki administrations.
The minister is also facing a silent backlash from the Nandi community amid reports that his elder son Allan who represented him at The Hague was tipped to succeed him as the MP.