Supremacy battles between the Jubilee Party and Kanu played out in the North Rift in the recent General Election, with the latter bagging key seats among pastoral communities.
Kanu trounced Jubilee to retain key positions in West Pokot and Baringo counties, despite spirited campaigns by the ruling coalition to get a slice of the pastoral communities’ vote to fully control the vote-rich Rift Valley region.
In West Pokot, Kanu won the governor’s seat through Prof John Lonyangapuo and the Senate post, to be held by Mr Samuel Poghisio.
In Baringo, Senator Gideon Moi retained his position whereas county assembly Speaker William Kamket beat Parliamentary Security Committee chairman Asman Kamama in the Tiaty parliamentary race.
Mr Kamket garnered 14,466 votes against Mr Kamama’s 7,978.
The outgoing governor, Mr Simon Kachapin, who jumped ship from Kanu to Jubilee, suffered a blow after his team comprising former MP (Rev) Julius Murgor, for the Senate seat, were defeated in the elections.
Prof Lonyangapuo told the Nation that the new alliance with Mr Poghisio will liberate the Pokot community.
“Development will top my agenda as we team up to liberate our people,” he said when he was declared winner.
The governor-elect garnered 86,822 votes against Mr Kachapin’s 63,691 votes.
Mr Poghisio, a former Kacheliba MP, is making a comeback after he lost in the 2013 General Election after which he was appointed chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Further in Baringo, Jubilee was the biggest casualty after losing all county assembly seats in Tiaty Sub-County to Kanu.
The winners in the wards are: Zelemoi Ameja (Churo/Amaya), Solomon Makal (Kolowa), Sam Lourien (Tirioko), Shadrack Mailuk (Tangulbei/Korossi), Nelson Lotela (Silale), Daniel Tuwit (Ribkwo/Kositei) and Maria Losile (Loiyamorok).
Jubilee however won the Baringo gubernatorial race after Mr Stanley Kiptis managed 137,668 votes against Kanu’s Isaac Chebon, who got 52,176 votes.
The independence party however bagged the woman representative seat, which was won by Ms Gladwell Cheruiyot with 64,319 votes while Jubilee’s Susan Chesiyna came second with 48,168 votes.
Ms Cheruiyot pledged to help in uniting all the warring communities in the county, noting that women and children bear the brunt of the rampant banditry attacks in the region.
“We promise to engage all the leaders and elders from all the communities to make sure that the insecurity menace becomes a thing of the past,” she said.
READ: Over 100 bandits attacked us, survivor says – VIDEO
The loss of the Baringo senatorial seat to Kanu is viewed as a big blow to Deputy President William Ruto, whose ally Simon Kiprono Chelugui lost to Mr Moi.
It was widely claimed that the DP prevailed on Mr Chelugui to go for the senatorial seat and leave the gubernatorial seat to the incumbent Benjamin Cheboi, who lost to Mr Kiptis.
Mr Moi garnered 116,209 votes to be declared winner while Mr Chelugui managed 70,182 votes.
Mr Kipchumba Ayabei of ODM was third with 3,439 votes.
READ: Moi, Ruto clash in Rift Valley fight – VIDEO
The DP and Mr Moi have in the recent past been engaged in protracted supremacy battles for the control of the Rift Valley vote.