An aspirant for the Kajiado governor’s seat, Mr Taraiya ole Kores, has accused his rival, former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, of spreading rumours that he has bowed out of the race in his favour.
“We would like to let our supporters know that Hon Kores has not stepped down for anyone and we are still in the race to clinch the governor’s seat,” said a statement issued by the Mr Kores’s campaign secretariat.
“Those are lies being peddled by Team Lenku because they have been working day and night to ensure that we do not go for nominations, for reasons known to all, but their plans have failed terribly.
“They have now resorted to peddling lies that Hon Kores has stepped down for them so that they can cause confusion among our supporters,” the statement added.
Mr Ole Kores was referring to unconfirmed reports doing rounds, especially on social media, to the effect that he is bowing out of the race.
Other reports claim that State House has prevailed upon the former Kenya Meat Commission Chairman to go for the senator’s seat, as his academic papers do not meet the threshold required to contest the governor’s seat.
Mr Ole Kores and Mr Ole Lenku are currently locked in a fierce rivalry for the Jubilee ticket to challenge incumbent Governor David Nkedienye of ODM.
Other contestants in the race are Mr Moses Parantai of Jubilee and Mr Daniel Nina, the 2013 runner-up, who has since defected to the Peter Munya-led PNU.
Mr Ole Kores was barred from contesting for the governor’s seat in 2013 when the High Court found his academic papers to be invalid.
He has since acquired a degree in Development Studies from Mount Kenya University, from where he graduated in July 2016.
The issue of academic papers has, however, refused to go away.
It is alleged that he is being asked to bow out because of the same reason.
However, in a quick rejoinder, Mr Ole Lenku’s spokesman, Mr Daniel Kanchori has denied that their team is behind the rumours that Mr Ole Kores is stepping out of the race.
“We are very busy with our campaigns and have no time to engage in propaganda,” said Mr Kanchori, who is the Oloosirkon Sholinke Ward MCA in Kitengela.
“We are also hearing information that Ole Kores wants to issue a statement (of bowing out). If true, we shall gladly accept him in our team.”