The morning after the UDA party primaries heralded an unforgettable Easter weekend of gnashing of teeth for key allies of Deputy President William Ruto after they were dumped by voters.
One of the key casualties was for Charles Keter, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, who served as Cabinet Secretary for Energy and later Devolution before he resigned to contest for the Kericho governorship seat in the August 9 elections. Riding under the moniker “tranformer”, Keter was sunk by former Embu University lecturer Dr Erick Mutai aka “Equalizer”. At the time of filing this story, Mutai was leading with 74,228 votes against Keter’s 36,450 votes even as a dispute arose in two tallying centres.
Kericho Woman Representative Florence Bore also lost the party ticket to a newcomer, Beatrice Kemei who garnered 43,299 votes to resoundingly defeat incumbent who had 29,673 votes. Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis was trailing his predecessor Benjamin Cheboi in the race for the party ticket by last evening. Out of the six constituencies, Cheboi was leading in three with 18,282 votes against the incumbent Kiptis who managed 14,855.
Kihara big loss
Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet was following closely in the third position with 13,426 votes while former Wildlife Principal Secretary Fred Sigor managed 5,555 votes. Another big wig who lost in the primaries is the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Cheboi. Cheboi failed to secure the party ticket to defend his Kuresoi North parliamentary seat. He lost to Sirikwa MCA Alfred Mutai who got 17,247 votes against Cheboi’s 12,454.
Naivasha MP Jane Kihara, an ardent supporter and defender of DP Ruto lost in the party nominations after getting 9,991 votes against her predecessor John Kihagi who got 10,394 votes. Others whose fate were sealed in the South Rift are; nominated MP Wilson Sossion who was contesting the Bomet senatorial seat.
Former East African Cooperation Minister Musa Sirma came out of a 15 year political cold to fly the party flag for the Eldama Ravine constituency seat in the August elections. Sirma garnered 11,688 votes against his closest rival Halima Abdul who managed to get 6,168 votes.
In Narok , Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ngeno won UDA ticket by beating his rival David Keter by 14,381 votes against 8,943. Sotik MP Dominic Kipkoech is another ally of DP Ruto who lost the party nominations to ambassador Francis Sigei. In Kericho County, two former MPs made a political comeback in the UDA primaries by beating the current office holders. Two former Kericho MPs beat current office holders in UDA nominations.
In Ainamoi Constituency, immediate former Kenya High Commissioner to Namibia Benjamin Langat, garnered 17,600 votes to beat the incumbent Sylvanus Maritim who got 13,400 votes Langat’s win places him at the threshold of making a comeback to the National Assembly. In Soin/Sigowet former area legislator, Justice Kemei garnered 11,868 votes to defeat the current office holder Kipsenget Koros, who got 10,860 votes
In Kipkelion East Constituency, Joseph Cherorot who had lost to the incumbent Joseph Limo in the last two general elections, garnered 11,219 votes to snatch the UDA ticket from Limo who got 8,981 votes. Nonetheless, Belgut MP Nelson Koech and his Kipkelion West constituency counterpart Hillary Koskei beat their respective competitors by wide margin.
Gilgil MP Martha Wangari won UDA primaries after garnering 9,829 votes against her rival Stephen Gatimu who got 6,809 votes. Baringo Central MP Joshua Kandie clinched UDA ticket to defend his seat with 9,505 votes. His competitors were Assembly Speaker David Kerich (6,834), Former MP Sammy Mwaita (2,115), Emily Kiptui (811), John Ayabei (785) and Paul Tororei (626).
Subukia MP Kinuthia Gachobe clinched UDA ticket to defend his seat with 12,264 votes. His challengers were Simon Muigai (1,599), Dr Peter Mbae (1,599) and Salim Cheserem (245). Njoro MP Charity Kathambi clinched UDA ticket, garnering 18,340 votes. Her challengers John Kaniaru got 3,455, John Njogu 1,588 and Chege Mwangi 425.
Thirty-five-year-old John Methu beat all the odds to clinch the party ticket for the Nyandarua Senatorial seat. At the same time, Keiyo South MP Daniel was defeated by Gideon Kimaiyo, by a margin of over 10,000 votes. Kimaiyo garnered 16,204 leaving beating Rono who managed 6,213 votes.
Elsewhere former KVDA chairman and two-term Keiyo South MP Jackson Kiptanui came second with 7,889 votes, while Shadrack Tulon came fourth with 2,308 votes. Dr James Murgor, lost narrowly to Adams Kipsanai, 35 while Kipsanai, trounced Dr Murgor with a margin of 140 votes. Kipsanai earned himself 6,523 votes against Murgor who got 6,383 votes.
At the same time Wisley Rotich, who is governor Alex Tolgos deputy, trounced former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet after garnering 42,258 votes in race Elgeyo Marakwet governorship. In Marakwet East, the incumbent Kangogo Bowen emerged victorious after garnering 9,402 votes ahead of his close rival and former head teacher Lawrence Mutwol who got 8,098 votes.
In Trans Nzoia, retired athlete Wesley Korir made a comeback, beating five others in a race marred by complaints of irregularities. Korir garnered 17,946 votes, beating his close competitor Julius Tunduria who came second with 7,522 votes. Others who were in the race Joshua Kipkorir got 5,332 votes, John Njuguna had, 5171 votes while Shadrack Kimutai and Dr Isaac Kogo tailed with 950 and 936 respectively.
Immediately the results were announced, Korir could not hide his joy, arguing his performance is a milestone in his quest to recapture the seat he lost to Joshua Kuttuny in 2017 polls. In Nandi, by 4 pm yesterday, the County tallying centre at Kapsabet Boys primary hall remained closed as preliminary results were being waited from the five sub county centers of Aldai, Chesumei, Tinderet, Mosop, Emgwen and Nandi Hills. In Aldai constituency, former chief of staff at Deputy President (DP’s) William Ruto’s office Marriane Kitany polled 16,597 to beat second term MP Cornelly Serem who managed 13,873. Kitany’s victory places her among the few women to successfully claim competitive political positions in the country.
[Reports by Christopher Kipsang, Stephen Rutto, Osinde Obare, Edward Kosut, Lynn Kolongei, Irissheel Shanzu, Kennedy Gachuhi, Nikko Tanui, Gilbert Kimutai and Julius Chepkwony. Boniface Gikandi, Jane Mugambi, Lydiah Nyawira, Phares Mutembei]