President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto during a rally at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County. [PhotoDPPS]
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto came face to face with the reality of formidable Kanu and independent candidates as their attempt to vouch for six-piece suit voting was met with resistance in their tour of North Rift.
In their five-day campaign tour, the Jubilee duo visited Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties to sell their party’s ideals and achievements.
But they were met with the reality that Kanu and independents could curtail their quest for parliamentary strength.
In Uasin Gishu, Ruto implored on Zedekiah Buzeki Kiprop, the independent challenging Governor Jackson Mandago to step down and support the incumbent.
But Buzeki fired back, asking Ruto to let Uasin Gishu residents choose their leaders.
The belligerent campaigns by Mandago had threatened Jubilee unity in the region and Uhuru and Ruto were eager to defuse the tension.
In Elgeyo Marakwet, efforts by the DP to endorse Jubilee candidates was received with jeers despite being assured of the presidential vote.
Governor Alex Tolgos is facing stiff competition from Moses Changwony, an Independent. Tolgos was booed on two occasions as he accompanied the President and his deputy, with the electorate demanding that Changwony be allowed to address them.
“I do not comprehend much of the Kalenjin dialect, but it is clear to all of us that there is something wrong. I will not get into that but allow Ruto to address these home issues,” Uhuru said in his address.
Back in Uasin Gishu, the crowds kept chanting the names of William Chepkut and Robert Kemei, who are contesting as Independent candidates for Ainabkoi Constituency seat and Uasin Gishu Senate, respectively.
In West Pokot, Jubilee and Kanu supporters clashed in Makutano town ahead of the presidential rally.
Four people were injured and business men were forced to close shops for fear of the shops getting looted.
The chaos erupted after the two rival groups took to the streets in support of President Kenyatta as their presidential candidate.
“There might be no six-piece suit voting in the North Rift. The presidential visit will do little to help achieve this in the region,” Josiah Kemboi, a political analyst said.