Buzeki to Ruto allies: Leave independents out of your campaign talk

Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop alias Buzeki addresses the press when a section of Rift Valley leaders expressed their support for BBI at Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi on November 29, 2019.

Photo credit: Kanyiri Wahito | Nation media Group

Businessman Zedekiah Bundotich alias Buzeki, a candidate for the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat on an independent ticket has told politicians associated with Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party to keep off matters of independent candidates in the ongoing campaigns.

Addressing residents of Eldoret town during his campaigns over the weekend, Mr Buzeki accused some members of parliament associated with the DP of interfering with his campaigns as an independent candidate.

Buzeki who was Saturday cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to vie for the seat, accused Ruto allied MPs of lying to residents about independent candidates, by portraying them as illegitimate candidates, yet all independent candidates are legally allowed to campaign independently without associating themselves with presidential candidates affiliated to political parties.

Last week, Buzeki explained why he will not campaign for the DP in his State House bid, and made it clear that he will not attach the DP’s portraits to his campaign materials.

He explained that in the 2017 General Election, his main competitor then, now Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, took him to court accusing him of popularising his candidacy using Jubilee presidential hopefuls, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Dr Ruto, and yet he was an independent candidate.

“While on the campaign trail, a court processor came and served me with a summary judgment, where I was ordered to pay Sh500,000 within 12 hours or in default spend three months in jail. I paid the fine and the incident taught me a painful lesson,” he said.

Mr Buzeki who garnered 148,000 votes, trailing Mr Mandago by 45,000 votes in the last General Election, blamed his defeat on endorsements and voter manipulation and said he is keen not to repeat the same mistake.

However, he has clarified that there is no bad blood between him and the DP.

While making triumphant entry in Eldoret town on Saturday after a long silence, Mr Buzeki accused a section of UDA MPs from the region of spreading false information to voters about independent candidates.

Citing Emurwa Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno, he challenged the legislators who are against independent candidates to go back to Parliament to change the law that stipulates what independent candidates can and can’t do in their campaigns.

“Let me tell MPs who are spreading propaganda about independent candidates to go back to Parliament and review the law on independent candidates if they are against us. But as long as the law on independent candidates still exists, we are going vie for various seats as independent candidates are we are going to be elected,” said Mr Buzeki.

He accused Mr Ng’eno of misleading voters on independent candidates in Uasin Gishu County, telling politicians from other constituencies to keep off Uasin Gishu politics.

According to Buzeki, Independent candidates are in a better position to sell their policies without being dictated by certain political parties.

“The Emurua Dikirr MP has been misleading residents of Uasin Gishu about independent candidates with the aim of confusing voters. Let the MP know that voters are more educated than him and he must keep off Uasin Gishu politics,” he said.

He described Mr Ng’eno as a legislator who has forgotten his role, bearing in mind that he is a member of the same parliament that supported the law on independent candidates.

“It is unfortunate that Emurua Dikirr MP is misleading voters’ thinking that we have fools in Uasin Gishu. Currently we have 7,000 independent candidates which is an indication of lack of democracy in the majority of political parties. Let the MP know that whether he likes it or not, residents of Uasin Gishu have made up their mind that they are going to elect me as their governor on an independent ticket come August 9,” said Mr Buzeki.

He expressed confidence of consolidating support of all voters in Uasin Gishu whom he said, are yearning for a change in county politics.

“As residents of Uasin Gishu, no one should confuse you with divisive politics. My government will be all inclusive and I promise to fight nepotism in county appointments. All residents of this county deserve fair treatment,” the candidate said.

Mr Buzeki who is campaigning on a 39-point transformative pillar agenda promised farmers from the North Rift that if elected, he will eradicate perennial challenges of high costs of farming by ensuring reliable availability of farm inputs, including fertilizer on subsidized price.

“As soon as I assume office in August, the lack of fertilizer and high cost of farming in this county will be a forgotten thing. I will look for international partners to secure cheap quality fertilizers to our farmers,” he stated.