DEMOCRACY THWARTED

Kilgoris residents protest cancelled UDA primary election

They said consensus, dialogue among aspirants is against wishes of the people who want to vote

In Summary

•Residents angered by the postponement of primaries; they work up early, walked to poling stations and were told there would be no vote.

•They demonstrated in Enoosaen, Angata Barikkoi,Kilgoris town and Esoit areas within the constituency.

Residents of Kilgoris on Tuesday took to the streets to protest UDA's cancellation of the primary election.

They were angered by delays, as they had awakened and walked to polling stations. They were told the primaries would not take place as consensus had been reached.

Demonstrations took place in Enoosaen, Angata Barikkoi, Kilgoris town and Esoit areas within the constituency.

Nairobi-based businessman Joel ole Tasur was to face former Rift Valley regional director of Education John Ololtuaa.

The nominations was slated for April 14 when the party was conducting countrywide polling, but primaries for Kilgoris and Narok South MP seats were called off due to consensus among aspirants.

The exercise was scheduled for Tuesday but the party headquarters announced Monday that primaries for the constituency would not take place.

Resident Mary Sein demanded the party leadership to conduct primaries to get the best leader elected by the people instead of "board endorsement".

She said whoever wins will be supported, regardless of his background or status.

Sein said the party should allow the locals to select leaders of their choice and exercise their democratic rights as enshrined in the Constitution..

“I kindly ask Deputy President William Ruto, who is the UDA party leader, not to allow few individuals with vested interests to ruin the party of the people by imposing their cronies on the people in leadership positions" Sein said.

Maasai elder Samson ole Ntalayio said the party had promised  the process will be free and fair nominations and called on the DP to personally take charge.

He issued 12-hour ultimatum to the party leadership to announce date for nominations or else they will shift their political allegiance to the Azimio La Umoja Movement.

Youth leader Benson Lemasho said residents are supporting the DP's ambitions  but the way his people are conducting party business leaves a lot to be desired.

Samuel Murunka said they want free, fair and transparent process not endorsement that does not reflect the wishes of the majority of the people.

He said UDA party is a national party and they should not work in a casual way but conduct primaries to implement democracy among its people and supporters.

Angata Barikkoi ward UDA chairman Joel Kipkirui said the consensus move was meant to lock out Joel Tasur from the race, as he had emerged the frontrunner.

He warned busy bodies interfering with the process that their days are numbered as the residents will vote them out in august.

Angata Barikkoi ward resident Julius Kipkemoi said the party did not give  clear information on why they postponed the polls because the power of voting lies with the people not few party officials.

On Monday, Tasur told the UDA party leadership to conduct nominations instead of issuing direct tickets to an individual.

Tasur said the party should allow the people to decide on the party flagbearer to get the best candidate.

“My supporters have been wondering and calling me to know why the nominations did not take place the day it was supposed.

"I have been advocating for a free and fair nominations process so that the people can get chance to exercise their democratic rights," he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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