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Friday, July 28, 2017

Kericho Jubilee politicians say election a 'mockery of democracy'

A file photo of Kericho county Jubilee politicians at a vote tallying centre. /FELIX KIPKEMOI
A file photo of Kericho county Jubilee politicians at a vote tallying centre. /FELIX KIPKEMOI

Jubilee Party's Kericho elections nearly aborted after some aspirants and their supporters attempted to rough up Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo.

Hecklers disrupted the process several times, accusing Limo of trying to help his cronies to land nominations, but heavily armed police officers intervened.

The closed-door election was held on consensus basis at the constituency's Tea Research Institute on Wednesday.

Limo's efforts to give the people an explanation were drowned by shouting residents who branded him a traitor.

But he later told the press that the election was credible and that losers were expected to raise unjustified complaints.

“We have to understand that in any election there must be winners and losers. We should not behave like the opposition, who after losing in any election, start blocking roads and throwing stones to expressed their dissatisfaction," he said.

Read: Chaos mars Jubilee election in Laikipia

Also read: Jubilee meeting in Voi turns chaotic as members reject 'handpicked' delegates

Hilary Koske, Kipkelion West parliamentary seat aspirant, described the election as a mockery of democracy.

He claimed some attended with the primary intention of "planting" officials who will help them retain their seats, or well-connected new-comers who will win next year.

Koske told those managing the exercise to control the electorate as they risk sparking disagreements.

Ainamoi MP Benjamin Langat said the election was free and fair but that many were dissatisfied by the process.

Bureti MP Leonard Sang reminded those who had complaints that this was not a general, but party election, with very little to do with aspirants.

"As the Kipsigis community, we should not allow opposition politics to infiltrate our domain since we are planning to re-elect President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto," he told journalists.

“Only those scared of losing are sending messages that some MPs planted cronies to hold Jubilee Party positions."

Several aspirants - Nelson Sonko (Belgut), Raymond Cheruiyot (Belgut), Ann Too (Ainamoi), Silvanus Martin (Ainamoi) and Hilary Koske (Kipkelion West) - went to the forum with their supporters.

Others present were Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, who refused to announce the list of those elected, governor hopeful Richard Langat and senator candidate Sammy Chepkwony.

Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony left before the election ended to sign a deal with an Indian investor for the construction of a Sh6 billion factory in Sigowet/Soin constituency.

Read: Jubilee plots to lock out aspirants as violence mars grassroot polls

Also read: Kwale Jubilee leaders negotiate interim officials to avoid chaos

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