Humiliating defeat for Gideon Moi as UDA's Cheptumo clinches Baringo seat

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has been dealt a humiliating defeat by Baringo North outgoing Member of Parliament William Cheptumo of the United Democratic Alliance party.

Mr Cheptumo garnered 141,777 votes against Mr Moi’s 71,480 votes.

 Mr Moi was defending his seat for a third term. Mr Felix Chelaite of The Service Party (TSP) garnered 3,261.

 MP Cheptumo, a three-term legislator and a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, won in the UDA party primaries in April with 69,420 votes.  

 Others included Silas Tochim (13,633), Bishop Jackson Kosgei (7,518 votes) and Daniel Taringo who managed 4,027 votes.

 17,933 votes

Kanu’s only win in the region was from William Kamket who gave Azimio la Umoja One Kenya its first win in Baringo County by retaining the Tiaty parliamentary seat.

Mr Kamket, a close ally of Mr Moi, won a second term in a region perceived as a stronghold of Deputy President William Ruto.  Mr Kamket bagged 17,933 votes, trouncing his closest political rival and predecessor Asman Kamama (Kenya Union Party), who received 13,037 votes.

UDA’s Peter Ng’eleiyo managed a paltry 110 votes, while Sammy Lokasa of the Amani National Congress (ANC) had 26. The other five MPs in Baringo County were elected on UDA tickets.

They are Reuben Kiborek (Mogotio), Musa Sirma (Eldama Ravine), Joshua Kandie (Baringo Central), Joseph Makilap (Baringo North) and Charles Kamuren (Baringo South).

Mr Moi had earlier surprised his opponents when he presented his nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Kabarnet on May 30 for clearance to defend his seat for the third term.

 After shelving his interest to vie for the presidency and support Azimio-One Kenya Alliance candidate Raila Odinga, Moi was cagey on his next move but locals had rumoured that he would vie for Baringo Central parliamentary seat.

Development projects

 Senator Moi’s entry into Baringo County politics had posed a big challenge to Dr Ruto who has been making inroads into the region as he seeks to solidify his support in Rift Valley and bolster his presidential bid.

The DP has toured the county, Moi’s backyard, several times in the recent past where he has launched several development projects in a bid to woo the electorate to support his party’s candidates.

Dr Ruto’s allies have referred to Senator Moi as a stranger in his own backyard. Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said he was the acting Baringo Senator.

During the Kenya Kwanza tour of the county recently, Senator Murkomen, a close ally to the DP, claimed that Senator Moi, after being elected for the second term, told him that his focus was now on national politics.

“I had a candid conversation with him (Mr Moi) and he told me that President Uhuru Kenyatta was comfortable in him succeeding him as opposed to the DP,” said Senator Murkomen.

“I’m surprised to hear that he is opting for the Baringo senate seat now. This is like going up to the university and going back to nursery school,” said Senator Murkomen.

Baringo was regarded as the party’s political bedrock, being the hometown of the late retired president Daniel Moi who ruled the country for 24 years and served as MP for more than 40 years.         

Kanu has in the past faced stiff competition from United Democratic Alliance party.

 All the major county elective seats have been won by UDA candidates including the woman representative seat which was won by the East African Legislative assembly (EALA) MP Florence Jematia and the governorship reclaimed by former Governor Benjamin Cheboi who made a political comeback.

 MP Cheptumo had claimed that the senator is ignorant of the suffering Baringo people.

Mr Cheptumo, who has been a Member of Parliament since 2007, also served as an assistant minister in charge of justice and legal affairs.