Jostling and elbowing for political dominance has set the stage for the succession of Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.
The battle to succeed Mandago, who is doing his final term,has attracted a number of aspiring candidates but two men are now featuring prominently as formidable contestants- Jonathan Bii and Businessman Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop popularly known as Buzeki.
Looking at the previous elections, Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat has proved to be a two-horse race – that candidates besides the two top contestants are mere minions in the game. The same trend seems to be taking shape ahead of the 2022 polls.
The two contestants, Bii and Buzeki, are always in the mouths of residents and are now seen as the most likely candidates to clinch the seat.
Buzeki, with his deep pockets, has entrenched himself as a fiery contestant having previously vied and giving Mandago a run for his money in 2017.
Bii on the other hand recently dumped KANU party and has since joined Deputy President William Ruto’s team ultimately enlarging his network among the team stalwarts in the county.
Bii’s popularity stem from his perennial inability to win the Eldoret North and Soy parliamentary seats despite multiple bids. On all his bids he vied on a KANU ticket.
Last year, however, Bii shifted camp joining DP Ruto’s camp a move that has catapulted his gubernatorial bid.
He now enjoys the backing of the regional political heavyweights including Soy MP Caleb Kositany, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and DP Ruto’s personal aide Farouk Kibet.
He also appears to have caught the eye and ear of the DP as he is lately allowed to speak in most functions that the DP attends despite not holding any political seat. In July, he was among non-elected leaders who spoke during the burial of the mother of Aldai MP Cornelly Serem attended by the DP.
Buzeki on the other hand has a massive following across the county but his undoing has been his fall-out with DP Ruto allies and his decision to join the Chama Cha Mashinani Party. He recently engaged in a fierce exchange of words with Ruto’s personal assistant Farouk Kibet.
“That conman called Buzeki, he is a fake person, he is a fool. He is being chased around by banks (for failing to pay loans). How can you think of electing someone like that? We want to choose someone who will bring development? We want Arap Bii (Jonathan) who will be a governor for everyone not Ziwa alone,” Farouk slammed Buzeki.
Late this week, Mandago and Sudi clashed with Buzeki accusing him of championing an anti-Ruto crusade in the county and warned him that he risks failing in his political ambitions.
Buzeki, however, pointed out that he lost in 2017 after he was branded a ‘political project’ due to his then close links with DP Ruto.
“In 2017 I lost to Mandago after he branded me DP Ruto’s project that is why this time I am sticking with my party CCM,” said Buzeki.
The ‘milkman’ is also running on the premise that it is time for the Keiyo sub tribe to also lead the county after the Nandi had their 10 years share under the leadership of Governor Mandago.
In a bare-knuckle attack at Buzeki, Sudi said he will be forced to campaign against his bid if he chooses to stick with CCM and hinted at supporting Bii.
The duo-Buzeki and Bii- took centre stage at the politically charged event in Kapseret despite the presence of other candidates including Kenyan Envoy to Pakistan Prof Julius Bitok and Former TSC Commissioner Cleophas Tirop.
The recent happenings is now a clear indication of the battle shaping into a two-horse race with other candidates considered to be merely adding the numbers of the contestants and giving the county democracy more credibility.
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