Buzeki on claims he is DP Ruto favourite in Uasin Gishu governor race
Uasin Gishu County gubernatorial hopeful, Kiprop Bundotich, alias Buzeki, has refuted claims that he is Deputy President William Ruto’s preferred candidate for the seat of governor on a Jubilee Party ticket.
Uasin Gishu County Governor, Jackson Mandago, and Kapseret Member of Parliament, Oscar Sudi, had on Tuesday, April 18, slammed officers working in the office of the Deputy President William Ruto’s office for allegedly plotting to rig them out during the Jubilee Party primaries.
Speaking on Monday, April 21, during the launch of Mandago’s re-election bid in Ziwa, the leaders warned against plans to influence the outcome during the Jubilee nominations taking place on Friday, April 21.
Governor Mandago said they will not sit pretty as some people are working hard to see him ‘rig out of the primaries’.
“Those sitting in high offices and planning how to rig the Jubilee primaries we want to tell them to keep off and let Uasin Gishu residents decide on their own,” said Mandago, subtly referring to influence by office of the Deputy President.
MP Sudi took a swipe at DP Ruto’s personal assistant, Reuben Maiyo, who he accused of being behind the move to block them from winning the Jubilee nominations.
Buzeki says Mandago is “being insincere in his allegations of DP Ruto influencing Jubilee Party primaries in Uasin Gishu because he (Mandago) in the past was heard waxing lyrical on the DP, terming him one of the best leaders, but now that he sees competition is stiff, he has resorted to pointing an accusing finger at DP Ruto’s office, hoping to get sympathy votes”.
“The number of times that previously Mandago praised the DP is uncountable; terming him the best leader. But, today because his agenda comes across as a non-issue to many Uasin Gishu residents, he has decided to mudsling the DP, hoping to get sympathy votes,” added Buzeki.
“You cannot blame an office that you were praising all the time. By dragging the name of any other politician, he is just confirming that he has lost the election. In our minds, he is confirming that he is not going to become a governor. We are going to win the Jubilee Party primaries with a landslide,” Buzeki told Citizen Digital in Eldoret.
Buzeki expressed worries over how the Jubilee Party primaries are being conducted, with massive logistical challenges across different polling stations in Uasin Gishu County, leading to delays in the kicking off of the voting exercise.
He, however, says “it is a little bit too premature to term the Jubilee primaries a sham” but wants them postponed to a later date when there are sufficient ballot papers and equipment to conduct organised and transparent nominations.
“Setbacks are of grave enormity. We do not have ballot papers in several polling stations. I think for voting to continue at this particular time (2:30 pm on Friday, April 21) may pose logistical constraints to voters. It would be my wish that as soon as they get enough voting papers, we continue with the exercise. If possible, they can push the nominations forward to tomorrow (Saturday, April 22) or the day after tomorrow (Sunday, April 23),” added Buzeki.
The Uasin Gishu gubernatorial hopeful also played down allegations that ballot papers with his name ticked on them were found at a polling station in Uasin Gishu County, pointing an accusing finger at Governor Jackson Mandago, who he claims is behind the “ploy”.
“I think it is very cheap political witch-hunt. I will tell you that at this age and time, my competitor (Governor Mandago) happens to be the high priest of propaganda. He hired people to tick ballot papers and malign my name. Everybody who is trying to spread propaganda to kill the spirit of my supporters, it is a lie. We have run a rich campaign that was manifesto-based,” said Buzeki.
Buzeki and Mandago, both intending to vie for governor, are fighting to win a Jubilee ticket in the party primaries that kicked off on Friday, April 21.