Disquiet as Ruto, Gachagua push for voting of only UDA aspirants

Rigathi Gachagua

From left: Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Julius Bitok, who lost in the Uasin Gishu County gubernatorial race in the United Democratic Alliance party primaries, Rigathi Gachagua, Deputy President William Ruto's running mate and Jonathan Bii, the UDA nominee for the seat hold hands after Mr Bitok and Mr Bii shook hands at a Kenya Kwanza economic forum for Uasin Gishu County held at Eldoret Sports Club on May 25, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Kenya Kwanza Alliance leaders have hit out at aspirants who quit UDA after losing in party primaries to contest as independents.

Led by the alliance’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua, the leaders who were in Baringo County yesterday branded the independents “selfish”.

“Independents are pushing for their own interests. Have you seen independent candidates here? ” asked Mr Gachagua.

He said Mt Kenya will rally behind Deputy President William Ruto.

“If you will not vote in UDA candidates in the August polls, Ruto will be a general without soldiers. You must elect people who he will work with,” said the Mathira MP.

Mr Gachagua indicated that if Ruto wins the polls, he will give during appointments priority to those who lost in the primaries and remained loyal to the party. “Independents will not be able to knock on UDA offices and get our people jobs in security and other sectors but UDA MPs will do that. Elect UDA,” he said. 

He appealed to Governor Kiptis and Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet to withdraw from the race and support UDA aspirants.

Mr Gachagua faulted Kanu chairman Gideon Moi’s move to defend his Senate seat, noting he is desperate.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen called for revival of dams and flourspar mining.

At the Coast, DP Ruto wound up his tour of the region yesterday where he promoted “six-piece” voting for UDA to the detriment of candidates sponsored by other parties in his alliance.

Only in Lamu did Dr Ruto campaign for Amani National Congress governor candidate Issa Timamy.

In Kilifi where he held an economic forum, divisions have rocked the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) and UDA barely three weeks after the former joined Ruto’s team.

Kilifi Governor Kingi, the leader of PAA is campaigning for lawyer George Kithi to succeed him, causing divisions in the UDA camp led by its governor aspirant Aisha Jumwa.

Dr Ruto asked Kilifi voters to stand with Ms Juma while in Tana River, he asked the electorate to consider former county boss Hussein Dado.

Addressing the public at the Kamukunji Grounds in Witu Town, Dr Ruto said while serving as DP he ensured Lamu, for the first time since independence, got a 135-kilomtre road.

DP Ruto was referring to the Sh10.8 billion Lamu-Witu-Garsen Road. The road construction works were launched in March, 2017 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Many small and medium enterprises fail to prosper because they are victims of predatory lenders, brokers and shylocks. If elected in August, we shall carry out investment in agriculture and support for farmers with subsidsed fertilizer and seeds, scout for more markets so that farmers, including those dealing in livestock, can get better prices for their produce,” said DP Ruto.

In Tana River, he challenged Mr Odinga to show his report card to the electorate while he was prime minister.

Meanwhile, Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi campaigned in Busia County accompanied by his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula

“Uhuru Kenyatta is telling us that the economy is doing well and yet the price of fuel and food are high. How?” Mr Mudavadi said

Reporting by Maureen Ongala, Kalume Kazungu, Stephen Oodur, Florah Koech, Ok’ongo Oduya and Barnabas Bii.

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