Kanu alleges vote-buying in tight race

Mr Langat said the Kanu team was holding a clean and honest campaign,

Monday February 22 2016

Kenya African National Union Chairman Gideon Moi addresses the media at a past event. Kanu’s Paul Sang is running against Jubilee’s Aaron Cheruiyot and four others for the Kericho senatorial position. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya African National Union Chairman Gideon Moi addresses the media at a past event. Kanu’s Paul Sang is running against Jubilee’s Aaron Cheruiyot and four others for the Kericho senatorial position. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION TEAM
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Kanu has accused Jubilee of plotting to use government officials to carry out widespread voter buying ahead of the March 7 Kericho Senate by-election.

The leaders also accused the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) of running an abusive campaign process led by Deputy President William Ruto for their candidate Aaron Cheruiyot.

Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto on Sunday led vocal MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Johana Ng’eno (Emurua Dikirr) and former Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat in making the claims during a press conference at a Kericho hotel.

Kanu’s Paul Sang is running against Jubilee’s Aaron Cheruiyot and four others.

But speaking at Africa Inland Church (AIC) in Kericho Town, Energy Cabinet Secretary and immediate former area Senator Charles Keter said JAP would roll out a campaign that is honest and free of insults and called on religious leaders to pray for the election so that it remains peaceful.

Governor Ruto accused the DP of “lecturing” Kericho residents and referring to people opposed to his candidate in unsavoury terms.

“He is using uncouth words in the campaigns and that is unacceptable. He has made it clear that the only correct candidate is the Jubilee candidate. Under the new Constitution, there is no place in Kenya that can be branded as an opposition zone. He is patronising the people using state resources and nothing else,” said Mr Ruto.

Mr Alfred Keter hit out at DP Ruto and Energy CS Keter, accusing them of involving themselves in political campaigns against the provisions of the Constitution.

“There is no role that a president, deputy president or a CS has in a campaign where a senator is required. They should leave the residents of Kericho County to engage in the electoral process and elect someone of their choice,” said Mr Keter.

RESPECT MOI

The Nandi Hills MP said it was unfair for the Jubilee leadership to insult the family of retired President Daniel arap Moi in the campaigns, saying the former president had done a lot for the Kalenjin community in his 24 years at the helm of Kenya.

“Our retired president deserves respect because most of the roads and schools that we boast of today as a nation were built under his watch,” said Mr Keter.

Mr Langat said the Kanu team was holding a clean and honest campaign and also accused the DP of using offensive language by describing those campaigning for Mr Sang as ‘young and immature boys’.

Meanwhile in Trans Mara, Narok County, drama unfolded at a thanksgiving ceremony for Environment Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli as Narok Governor Samuel Tunai and Mr Ngeno (Emurua Dikirr MP) almost came to blows.

Security officers and some MPs, however, stepped in and kept the two away from each other during the ceremony attended by the DP at Poroko Secondary school.

Trouble started when Mr Ng’eno openly criticised the governor, tearing into his development record. He said hospitals in the region had been run down and the region had no proper roads.

Mr Ng’eno, who spoke before Mr Tunai, also told the DP to his face that people were not happy that Jubilee has not delivered on its campaign promises.

However, a piqued Mr Tunai told off the MP, whom he accused of lecturing leaders on development issues yet he ‘had not utilised his Constituency Development Fund well.”

“This man has been criticising our development record yet he has not done anything,” said the governor.

As the governor continued, Mr Ngeno stood up and charged towards the dais but was stopped by security officers and MPs led by Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete) and Katoo Ole Metito (Loitoktok).

Others present at the meeting included Energy CS Keter, Korei Ole Lemein (Narok South), Ken Kiloku (Narok East) and the brothers Julius and Andrew Sunkuli.

WE WILL WIN
The DP watched quietly as the drama unfolded. He later cautioned political leaders against engaging in petty politics.

“The win by the Mashinani party in the Nyangores Ward has no bearing in what will happen in Kericho. It was a small win for them. I can categorically state that we will win the Kericho Senate seat,” he said.

Mr Kiloku was booed as he attempted to defend the Jubilee government’s performance.

Later, when addressing a fundraiser at Ndunyu Njeru Blessed Baldo Catholic Church on Sunday, Mr Ruto repeated that the Jubilee candidate would win the Kericho seat.

“I have heard some MPs here express doubts about our ability to clinch the seat, but I want to tell them not to spend sleepless nights. We are on top of things,” said Mr Ruto.

He was reacting to concerns by Mr Waititu and MPs Samuel Gichigi, Mr Metito and Woman Representative Wanjiku Muhia over grumbling in the DP’s backyard by some politicians.

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