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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sh850m splashed in North Rift in one month primary run-up

Kesses Jubilee MP nominee Swarrup Mishra joins women in a dance at Mogobich on April 20 during his campaign /MATHEWS NDANYI
Kesses Jubilee MP nominee Swarrup Mishra joins women in a dance at Mogobich on April 20 during his campaign /MATHEWS NDANYI

Aspirants in the North Rift splashed out more than Sh850 million in one month in the run-up to nominations last month.

In its interim monitoring report on the primaries, the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy says almost half of the cash was spent to campaign in Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties.

CHRD programmes coordinator Kipkorir Ngetich says much of the money was spent to hire vehicles, buy food for event participants, organise fundraisers and pay supporters. Ng’etich, however, says results of the Jubilee nominations in most areas do not reflect the will of the people.

“Many aspirants started campaigns more than three months before primaries.

They ended up spending a lot in the hope that Jubilee would conduct well organised nominations. But that was not to be,” he said.

Ng’etich said moneyed aspirants could have easily manipulated polls because JP did not put in place safeguards to ensure free and fair voting.

In Uasin Gishu, Governor Jackson Mandago and rival, businessman Bundotich Kiprop, known as Buzeki, are said to have spent more than Sh100 million each.

Buzeki also hired choppers.

Aspirants spent exorbitant amounts in Kesses constituency. Mediheal Group of Hospitals CEO Dr Swarrup Mishra was the biggest spender in the race for MP.

He funded community projects, established a full campaign secretariat and gave vehicles to women’s groups.

Mishra also bought large TV screens, each costing more than Sh400,000, for youth groups and motorcycles, among other incentives.

He defeated lawyer Allan Kosgey, Uasin Gishu speaker Isaac Terer and incumbent MP James Bett, who also spent heavily.

Mishra defended his spending to help residents.

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