BRING IT ON

We're not scared of independents — UDA candidates

There are fears independents pose major threat to UDA dominance in Rift Valley

In Summary

• Candidates pledge to ensure high voter turnout in support of presidential candidate DP William Ruto.

• UDA governor candidate for Uasin Gishu Jonathan Bii led his colleagues in calling for peace and unity during and after the election next Tuesday.

UDA candidates Jonathan Bii, Samel Chepkonga, Phylllis Bartoo and Janet Sitienei at a meeting in Eldoret
NOT AFRAID: UDA candidates Jonathan Bii, Samel Chepkonga, Phylllis Bartoo and Janet Sitienei at a meeting in Eldoret
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

UDA candidates in North Rift have expressed confidence they will win all seats in Tuesday’s polls, despite talk of a tsunami by independents.

The candidates have also pledged to ensure a high voter turnout in support of Deputy President William Ruto who is running for president.

UDA governor candidate for Uasin Gishu Jonathan Bii also led his colleagues in calling for peace and unity during and after the election on Tuesday next week.

“We are God-loving people and we urge all Kenyans to turn out and vote and ensure peace and unity in all areas," Bii said.

His sentiments were repeated by other candidates, including Wesley Rotich who is the UDA governor candidate in Elgeyo Marakwet, MP candidates Phyllis Bartoo (Moiben) David Kiplagat (Soy), Julius Rutto (Kesses) and Janet Sitienei (Turbo).

Rutto, who is running against Dr Swarrup Mishra in Kesses constituency, said they were not scared of independent candidates running for most seats in the region.

“We have done wide campaigning and our people are set to vote six-piece in favour of UDA,” Bii said. The candidates spoke as they engaged in final campaigns ahead of the polls.

The candidates have thanked DP Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza team for sparing time to campaign for the coalition in the region.

“The Kenya Kwanza team has been very supportive and we are proud of them. We are confident that freedom is surely coming through our team," Bii said.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang who is defending his seat through UDA said residents should turn out in large numbers and vote for Kenya Kwanza.

“We have a very formidable Kenya Kwanza team and we believe we will win all seats in this region," Sang said.

However, the focus will be on several key seats in North Rift.

The main questioned widely discussed is the possibility of independent candidates upsetting UDA in the region considered a strong hold of DP Ruto and his party.

Major battles are expected in the contest for the governor in Uasin Gishu where independent Bundotich Kiprop Buzeki is facing UDA’s Jonathan Bii, popularly known as Koti Moja.

“That contest will be keenly watched. As it stands now, either of them has the capacity to win, in contrast with the past. Now Buzeki has made inroads in rural areas," youth leader Julius Kiptoo.

The other major battle is between Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who will be defending his seat through UDA while outgoing Governor Alex Tolgos will be going for the same seat through Jubilee.

Buzeki says despite Ruto’s anti-independents campaign, they will cause upsets by winning seats because residents do not want leaders forced on them by UDA.

“Our people are not electing parties but leaders with capacity to deliver better service,” Buzeki said.

The other hot battles are in Nandi Hills where MP Alfred Keter is defending his seat as an independent against Benard Kitur  of UDA.

In Mosop area, MP Vincent Tuwei is also battling 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 man Julius Ruto.

In Moiben, MP Silas Tiren is running against UDA's Professor Phyllis Bartoo.

MP for Ainabkoi William Chepkut is also an independent running against UDA man Samwel Chepkonga.

In Marakwet West, MP William Kisang is battling independent candidate Timothy Toroitich.

In Keiyo North, MP Dr James Murgor is running as an independent against UDA candidate Adams Kipipsanai.

(Edited by V. Graham)

“WATCH: The latest videos from the Star”