, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – Roads Minister Franklin Bett said on Tuesday he will not defend his parliamentary seat or seek any other elective post in the 2013 elections.
Addressing a news conference at his ministerial office, Bett said he had not quit politics, but was only making a strategic tactic as he prepares run for the presidency in 2017.
“Do not mistake this for a retreat or surrender. It is a strategic move,” he said.
“If you are a farm labourer and you realise that the axe you have been using to cut down a tree is getting blunt you step back and go to look for a ‘tupa’ (file) and sharpen it. Similarly, I have also taken a step back but I will come back stronger and better serve you,” said Bett.
He refuted claims that he has ditched ODM for the TNA/URP Coalition and also took time to explain that his move should not be interpreted to mean he has sensed defeat due to the URP political wave that has taken over the north rift.
“My membership in ODM is neither negotiable nor under review in the foreseeable future,” he said
“I believe in democracy, but what I don’t believe in is the concept of intolerance which seems to be around when you say zoning, when you talk of if you are not in URP you are vanquished. Tell me when you are not with God you vanquished but not another human being, I am very clear in my mind, I am very clear in my heart,” Bett stated.
The Buret MP said he will instead concentrate his energies towards campaigning for ODM in the vast region.
“I take to the trenches to campaign for ODM a contented man. My records speak for itself,” he stated but acknowledged that his decision would disappoint his constituents, Bett, who was accompanied by his four children told the news conference.
The lawmaker said his membership in ODM is not negotiable in the foreseeable future adding that he will ensure the Coalition for Reform and Democracy has presence in the country and Rift Valley Province.
“I stood firm behind the National Rainbow Coalition even as the whole of the north and south rift sang to the KANU tune but NARC won. During the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution I started calling for the rejection of document, the others just followed me later but didn’t we go on to win. During the 2010 national referendum on the constitution I told my brethren in the north and south rift that the ‘Yes’ vote will win and it came to pass,” he said.
“When I look at the political development, my instinct now is the same as it was in 2002, 2005 and 2010 and it is telling me that CORD is the way,” said Bett who has served in the civil service for 33 years including a stint as the State House Comptroller during retired President Daniel Moi’s tenure.
Bett and his Tinderet counterpart Henry Kosgey are Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s point men in Rift Valley.