Bomet East Member of Parliament Beatrice Kones on Monday, January 31, announced her retirement from elective politics.
In an address to the media, the MP who has served for two terms stated that she was contented with the service she had rendered to her constituents adding that it was time for another person to take over the reins of leadership from her.
Kones, who was elected on a Jubilee party ticket explained that she was taking a break to focus on her family. She is the widow to former powerful Cabinet Minister Kipkalya Kones who died in a plane crash in 2008.
Kipkalya was the Minister of Roads at the time and passed on alongside former Sotik MP Lorna Laboso – the two were members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party.
“I have played my part in politics in the cumulative 34 years that my late husband and I have led the people of Bomet constituency, initiated several development projects, and immensely contributed to the socio-economic and political development of the county
“I wish to thank the people of Bomet constituency and by extension the county for the support they have given us over the years. I will be available for consultation when required, but I am taking the backseat to concentrate on family affairs,” she stated.
She has been serving in the National Assembly alongside her son-in-law – Belgut MP Nelson Koech who in the past admitted finding it hard to play politics under the watch of his in-law.
“It is very tricky, especially from my traditional Kalenjin man. We tend to have a lot of respect for the mother-in-law, so much so that you are not allowed to visit her often but for me, we always bump into each other.
We both contribute despite the tension but whenever I want to say something controversial, I will have my female colleagues keep her out to allow me to say something crazy. They also text me if they are discussing their own things, say in the restaurant area, so I can keep off,” Koech intimidated in a past interview.
Beatrice made headlines in 2017 after she faced off with her eldest son, Kelvin Kalya, who contested for the seat on a Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party ticket.
Kalya, who recently joined Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party indicated that he had plans to go for the seat in the August polls.
He revealed that his family would support his candidature including his mother. However, he refuted claims that he was a project of the family as the Kones family has dominated Bomet politics over the years.
“I will be making my second stab at elective politics and this time around, I have the backing of my entire family led by my mother who is retiring. In the last General Election, we were protagonists, but this time we are on the same page.
I will endeavour to complete the projects initiated in the last five years and start new ones and I am confident that I have the backing of the electorate,” he stated.
Following her announcement, the ally of the DP becomes the second MP to announce retirement from active politics after Mumia East MP Benjamin Washiali.