Narok witnessed a show of political might on Monday as Governor Samuel ole Tunai launched his re-election bid at a mega rally where he told the opposition that the region is not a swing vote county but a purely Jubilee zone.
As he launched his bid, his ally-turned-rival for the gubernatorial seat, Mr Patrick ole Ntutu (Narok West MP), was holding a parallel rally in Suswa attended by Governor Isaac Ruto of the Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) in a bid to counter what turned out to be a major Jubilee political rally at Narok stadium with eight Jubilee Party MPs in attendance.
The Jubilee brigade drummed up support for the party in the August polls as they dismissed the opposition Nasa’s bid for power.
Six MPs and two senators were among leaders who attended the rally that was preceded by a road show from Suswa.
Mr Tunai told residents that only President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have the interests of the Maa community at heart.
NOT NASA ZONE
"The writing is on the wall. Those claiming that Narok is an opposition zone are lying to themselves or they are day dreaming. As you can see from the attendance of this rally these Nasa guys are waiting for a surprise of their lives," said Mr Tunai.
Among those who attended the rally were Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Ms Beatrice Elachi (Nominated Senator), MPs Korei ole Lemein (Narok South), Mr Ken Kiloku (Narok East), Mr Gideon Konchellah (Kilgoris), Mr Kimani Ichung'wah (Kikuyu), Mr Moses Kuria (Gatundu), Ms Alice Nganga (Thika Town), Ms Esther Gathongo (Ruiru) and about 40 MCAs.
Mr Tunai also warned his two rivals to prepare for a tough battle, saying that his administration has done a lot for the people of Narok.
The Narok gubernatorial battle is a three horse race pitting the incumbent against Narok West MP Patrick Ntutu and former ICT Permanent Secretary Joseph Tiampati.
Party politics, development, accountability, and inclusiveness will be the key determinants on who will take the mantle after August 8.
Governor Tunai told a crowd estimated at over 10,000 that Jubilee is an action-oriented administration which is already implementing all aspects of development to benefit the region and its people.
The governor used the occasion to spell out his government’s achievements, among them, the growth in the health sector, education infrastructure, and employment opportunities. He said he would be banking on his development record to clinch a second term.
The launch came amidst the battle for control of the Maasai votes pitting his Jubilee Party against Mr Isaac Ruto’s CCM party and the Orange Democratic Party which is fielding Mr Ole Ntutu.
Mr Ntutu launched his bid in a similar campaign three weeks ago at his Oloripik home.
At the Suswa rally, Governor Ruto drummed up support for Mr Ntutu saying he is the best candidate with the interests of the common man at heart.
He reiterated CCM’s position that whoever wants to be the president must agree to devolve at least 45 per cent of national revenue to the counties.
"Public resources must be shared equally and as Mashinani we shall not stop at anything...whoever needs our support should agree to that fact,” he said.
Mr Tunai on the other hand said his development record speaks for itself.
“You cannot dispute what the county government has done for the people of Narok ranging for education, roads, agriculture to other sectors and that is why I am seeking for the re-election,” said Tunai.
He claimed his opponents have been using incitement as a way to win votes adding that the Jubilee administration will not tolerate that.
“My main agenda has been to unite all the people living in this cosmopolitan county and I have served [them] equally regardless of their tribes or race,” he said.
Governor Mandago, Senator Cheruiyot and Mr Kuria said that Mr Tunai deserves a second term, saying he is tried and tested.
The leaders accused the opposition of preaching hatred in the country, with the Kericho senator accusing opposition chiefs of having a corrupt track record while they were government.