Upsets in Rift Valley as newbies beat veterans

MPs William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Swarup Mishra (Kesses) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills).

From left: MPs William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Swarup Mishra (Kesses) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) appeared to have either lost their seats or were trailing their UDA rivals.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Swarup Mishra (Kesses), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Cornelly Serem (Aldai), and James Murgor (Keiyo North) had either lost their seats or were trailing their UDA rivals.
  • Ms Marianne Kitany, a former chief of staff in Dr Ruto’s office, was declared the winner with 42,015 votes.
  • In the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial race, UDA’s Jonathan Chelilim Bii aka Koti Moja was leading against Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprotich aka Buzeki.

Political greenhorns floored incumbent MPs in Deputy President William Ruto’s North Rift backyard, where candidates from his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party carried the day in this year’s elections.

By yesterday, MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Swarup Mishra (Kesses), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Cornelly Serem (Aldai), and James Murgor (Keiyo North) had either lost their seats or were trailing their UDA rivals.

Elgeyo Marakwet County — where Woman Representative Jane Chebaibai and Marakwet West MP William Kisang are set to lose their seats to independent candidates — bucked the trend, however.

In Kesses Constituency, Dr Mishra lost to Uasin Gishu County official Julius Ruto. 

A greenhorn in politics, the UDA candidate garnered over 30,000 votes against Dr Mishra’s more than 20,000, according to preliminary election results.

In Nandi Hills, little-known insurance broker Bernard Kitur trounced the outspoken Keter, who was defending the seat as an independent candidate, garnering 23,503 to the latter’s 18,037. The total votes cast in the constituency were 41,979.

In neighbouring Aldai, Ms Marianne Kitany, a former chief of staff in Dr Ruto’s office, was declared the winner with 42,015 votes. Mr Serem came second with 13, 309 votes.

Other candidates in the race were Samoei Thomas (668), Nareca Nandoya (1,676) and Kiprop Jacob (801 ).

In Elgeyo Marakwet, Adams Kipsanai of UDA, a former aide of Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, won the Keiyo North parliamentary seat with 26,560 votes against Mr Murgor’s 11,213.

Mr Murgor lost UDA’s April nominations to Mr Kipsanai who got 6,523 votes against Mr Murgor’s 6,383.

Marakwet West MP William Kisang is also set to lose his seat to independent candidate Timothy Toroitich who lost in the UDA nominations to the legislator.

Provisional results yesterday indicated that the lawyer, who is making his debut in elective politics, was leading the incumbent with 27, 798 votes against Mr Kisang’s 17, 750 votes by the time of going to press.

Independents' day

Two MCAs who survived the April UDA nomination have also been floored by independent candidates.

Arror Ward’s Christopher Chemosong and his Sengwer counterpart David Kipketer lost after both serving two consecutive times.

Mr Justine Kosgei was leading the Arror race with 2,443 votes against the incumbent’s 1,730. In Ainabkoi, Mr Chepkut was trailing former MP Samuel Chepkonga of UDA, who is set to reclaim the seat.

In the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial race, UDA’s Jonathan Chelilim Bii aka Koti Moja was leading against Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprotich aka Buzeki, who is making a second stab at the seat as an independent.

Results are yet to be announced in all the six constituencies in the county, with the announcement of the outcome in Soy Constituency delayed as verification goes on. 

Agents were asked to converge at the constituency tallying centre at the Eldoret Town Hall today morning.

Soy constituency Returning Officer Doreen Wawire suspended the announcement of presidential election results to 9 am today to allow tabulation and verification from 180 polling stations. 

She said officers need time to key in, verify and tabulate results.

In Baringo County, UDA candidates Benjamin Cheboi (Governor), Florence Jematia (Woman Representative) and Baringo North MP William Cheptumo (Senate seat) were leading in their respective races.

Likely to lose

Governor Stanley Kiptis (independent), Senator Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Gladwell Cheruiyot (Kanu) are likely to lose in the elections.

UDA is also poised to take the governor’s seat in Elgeyo Marakwet with its candidate, Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich, taking a comfortable lead against his closest opponent, National Vision Party’s Anthony Chelimo.

Meanwhile, in West Pokot County, anxiety started to set in with UDA supporters engaging police in running battles demanding the announcement of presidential results. 

Chaos ensued at the Kapenguria Constituency tallying centre in Nasokol Girls High School.

The poor network had affected results transmission, which was slow. 

“It will take some time to send the full results from the constituency to the county and national tallying centres owing to a poor network coverage,” an official with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) told the Nation.

Reporting by Barnabas Bii, Titus Ominde, Tom Matoke, Edwin Mutai, Fred Kibor, Sammy Lutta, Oscar Kakai and Florah Koech

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