Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago (holding microphone) address residents of Eldoret town after receiving his nomination certificate from the IEBC on Friday. [Photo :Peter Ochieng, Standard]
Some Jubilee candidates in the North Rift have threatened to stop campaigning for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto unless certain party leaders severe links with independent candidates.
Led by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, the leaders accused some “powerful individuals within the party” of supporting and funding campaigns of independent candidates contesting against them.
This comes as Chesumei MP Elijah Lagat Saturday defected to NASA ahead of the Oppostion’s rally in Kapsabet today.
Speaking in Eldoret town on Friday after he was cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mandago demanded that the party’s top leadership draw a clear line between supporting them or entertaining independent candidates.
“We will ask our supporters to vote for other presidential candidates if the Jubilee’s dalliance with independents does not end. It is illogical to support independent candidates that say they support the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto,” said Mandago.
“We will ask our supporters to vote for us and make individual decisions on other seats. It is not a must for us to be in government.”
Mandago said the President spent a lot of resources and time to fold up small political parties and form Jubilee Party, warning that all that will go to waste if defectors who lost in the primaries are allowed to interfere with internal party affairs.
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said independents should choose to come back to Jubilee or be handled as competitors and Opposition sympathisers.
“We will not be taught how to will elect our leaders and on August 8 we will keenly assess the voting patterns. The moment we will realise the electorate is voting for our competitors, we will ask our supporters to vote against those eyeing the top seats in our party,” Sudi said.
Working against party
Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter claimed that some powerful individuals in Jubilee were funding Mandago’s main rival Zedekiah Bundotich, alias Buzeki, cautioning that the move is working against the party and may bring about undesirable results in August.
“Supporting Buzeki is working against Mandago who should have settled down by now and campaigning for the re-election of our President. If this trend remains, it will also not be mandatory for us to vote for this regime,” Keter said.
Gladys Shollei, who wants to be the Uasin Gishu Woman Rep on a Jubilee ticket, said the party must stop campaigning for non-members.
“Individuals who were not independents from the beginning and only defected after losing the primaries should be treated as outsiders,” she said.