Biwott party angles for Rift Valley spoils in August polls

The late Nicholas Biwott was the National Vision Party (NVP) Chairman.

What you need to know:

  • Party leader Anthony Chelimo is eyeing the Elgeyo Marakwet Governor's seat.
  • According to Mr Chelimo, big parties have a tendency to impose the wrong leaders on voters.

The National Vision Party (NVP) associated with the late powerful politician Nicholas Biwott is positioning itself for a stake in the Rift Valley vote, with its leadership urging the electorate not to make ballot decisions based on party loyalty but individuals’ strengths.

Party leader Anthony Chelimo says that big parties have a tendency to impose the wrong leaders on voters while rejecting better candidates from smaller parties.

Mr Chelimo is eyeing the Elgeyo Marakwet governor’s seat.

He says the county risks electing leaders who cannot deliver if voters pick leaders based on their party affiliation instead of leadership skills and integrity.

NVP has fielded 80 aspirants for various political seats.

“NVP is a party to watch in elections to come. We have already endorsed 80 candidates for the August election, with two gubernatorial aspirants in Bungoma and Elgeyo-Marakwet. We have two candidates for the Woman Rep seat in Embu and Trans Nzoia counties respectively, with about eight candidates for the Member of National Assembly,” said Mr Chelimo.

He said a majority of the candidates are for the position of Member of the County Assembly, spread across the country.

Mr Chelimo, who took over the leadership of NVP from Mr Biwott, a former powerful and long-serving Kanu-era Cabinet minister, urged voters not to be swayed by party waves.

He challenged NVP supporters in Elgeyo Marakwet to gauge the development record and integrity of all gubernatorial candidates in the coming election before voting for them.

"Do not vote for somebody into office because of the party he or she is vying on, but what they want to do for you and also their integrity so that you do not end up regretting after electing the wrong leader," he advised.

Mr Chelimo has pledged to use his national and international networks to transform the devolved unit if elected.

He asked residents to vote for him, promising to fulfill all his campaign pledges.

He noted that the county lags behind in all spheres of social and economic development due to bad leadership.

"My leadership will create alternative sources of income for farmers, as one way of ending overreliance on maize and wheat farming, whose prices have been fluctuating due to importation of the same produce into the country during harvesting period,'' he said.

The engineer is set to battle it out for the governor’s seat with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) nominee Wesley Rotich, the incumbent deputy governor. Mr Rotich secured the ticket in recent primaries.

He received the UDA certificate at Hustler Centre in Nairobi after trouncing former Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet in the hotly contested primaries.

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