Ruto camps in North Rift to neutralise independents

Wave of independents and resistance six-piece voting UDA's grip on area

In Summary

• Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang;'ula will meet where independent candidates threaten UDA.

•A UDA party internal survey indicates intense rivalry in the 10 areas ahead of a tour by the Kenya Kwanza team.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago leading UDA campaigns at Turbo in Uasin Gishu on July 23
NO TO INDEPENDENTS: Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago leading UDA campaigns at Turbo in Uasin Gishu on July 23

DP William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza team will camp in his North Rift backyard from Monday to fight off a strong showing by independents.

Ruto, ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula have lined up meetings where independent candidates threaten to defeat UDA men and  women on August 9.

They will push six-piece UDA voting, which many votes resent.

UDA party officials led by regional coordinator Paul Kiprop confirmed the campaign meetings.

“We will have our presidential candidate and the Kenya Kwanza team in our region for a series of rallies. Buy we have no challenge at all from independents and UDA will win all the seats in our region," Kiprop said.

UDA has shifted focus to 10 hot battle elective seats in the North Rift where independent candidates threaten Ruto's party's dominance.

The battles for parliamentary seats include Nandi Hills where MP Alfred Keter is defending his seat as an independent against Benard Kitur  of UDA. In Mosop, MP Vincent Tuwei is mbattling with Abraham Kirwa of UDA.

In Uasin Gishu, which is DP Ruto's home county, Kesses MP Dr Swarrup Mishra is running as an independent against UDA's Julius Ruto. In Moiben MP Silas Tiren is vying against UDA 's Professor Phyllis Bartoo.

MP for Ainabkoi William Chepkut is also an independent running again UDA's Samwel Chepkonga.

Still in Uasin Gishu, independent governor candidate Bundotich Kiprop Buzeki is in a race with UDA candidate Jonathan Bii, also known as Koti moja because he dresses simply and wears  one coast most of the time.

In Marakwet West, MP William Kisang is battling independent candidate Timothy Toroitich while in Keiyo North.

MP Dr James Murgor is running as an independent against UDA candidate Adams Kipsanai.

The UDA party internal survey has pointed at intense rivalry in the 10 areas ahead of a tour by the Kenya Kwanza team.

They will focus on pushing for a six-piece voting pattern in favour UDA but the call has already been met with resistance in some areas where voters appear unhappy with UDA candidates.

“We are sure of victory in all areas but we weren't sure our people are clear on the direction to take come August 9," Kiprop said.

UDA is also focusing on the Senate seat in Elgeyo Marakwet where Senator Kipchumba Murkomen is neck and neck with outgoing Governor Alex Tolgos who is vying on a jubilee ticket.

But Buzeki and other independent candidates have insisted that residents should not be forced to adopt the six-piece voting pattern.

“Our people are wise enough and they will not vote for bad leaders who want to hide under political parties,”Buzeki said.

Governor for Uasin Gishu Jackson Mandago and UDA party leaders in the region have said the region is locked for DP Ruto after a series of joint rallies in all the six sub=counties in the area.

They termed Uasin Gishu the  DP Ruto’s political bedroom where all residents would vote for the DP on August 9

Uasin Gishu is DP Ruto’s home county and Mandago has been leading week-ong joint campaigns for UDA candidates and the Kenya Kwanza team.

The UDA MP candidates in Uasin Gishu include Professor Phyllis Bartoo (Moiben), Julius Ruto of Kesses, Samwel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi), Janet Sitienei of Turbo and David Kiplagat of Soy. Also present was Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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