February 21st 2018

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

With NASA unity, Mashinani party could become a force in Nakuru politics

While calling on resident of Rongai to give them a second term of five years, the duo said Jubilee’s development record was clear and it’s only by re electing them that pending projects can be completed.

By Jackson Okataamboleokata@gmail.comSunday, 04 Jun 2017 12:42 EAT

Mr Ruto (l) with Mr Cheruiyot at the South Rift consultative meeting at Bomet Stadium in March, where they discussed CCM's options ahead of the August elections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto's determination to have Jubilee Party supporters vote only for candidates running on the party's ticket has claimed a major victim in Nakuru and also opened several races in the region to competition from opposition parties.

Speaking at a rally in Rongai on Saturday, the two leaders called on their supporters to only vote Jubilee candidates during the August general polls. They emphasized the need for the electorate to vote in Jubilee candidates, dealing a blow to independent candidates in the county.

Early Saturday morning at State House Nakuru, Uhuru and Ruto prevailed upon incumbent Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua not to defend his seat but instead support the jubilee nominee Lee Kinyanjui. Mr Mbugua who lost in the Jubilee nominations had already been cleared by IEBC to defend his seat as an independent candidate.

During an early meeting with Nakuru party nominees held at State House Nakuru, Uhuru announced that Mr Mbugua had agreed to opt out of the race and support Mr Kinyanjui, the governor's nemesis since 2013 when Mr Kianyanjui decleared his interest in the seat.

Mr Kinyanjui, a former NTSA boss and Nakuru Town Member of Parliament, will now battle it out with Dr Peter Koros of the Chama cha Mashinani and former NACADA boss John Mututho, Nakuru senator James Mungai, and a Mr Isaiah Gichangi who are all running as independent candidates.

Mr Koros, who is running on the party led by Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, is being supported by the entire NASA coalition. Mr Koros had a theoretical chance of winning the seat if Messrs Kinyanjui, Mututho and Mbugua were to divide their votes.

While NASA supporters and Kalenjin voters in Nakuru constitute over half of the registered voters in the county, the former are dispersed throughout the region and cannot muster majority votes in many constituencies, while the latter are expected to vote for Jubilee candidate Kinyanjui.

On the first day of their tour the President and his Deputy paraded all Jubilee party nominees and asked the electorate to vote them in during the August polls. Uhuruto’s tour of Nakuru County entered its second day yesterday with first stop being Salgaa and Rongai trading centres.

At the Salgaa trading centre, President Kenyatta announced that the current railway line that runs from Naivasha to Kitale through Nakuru and Eldoret will be rehabilitated in order to ease transport of farm produce to the markets.

Uhuru said that given the agricultural potential of the region between Naivasha and Kitale, there was need to ensure that the railway line is modernized in order to ensure that there is effective transport of farm produce for the benefit of farmers.

While calling on resident of Rongai to give them a second term of five years, the duo said that Jubilee’s development record was clear and it’s only by re electing them that pending projects can be completed and new ones started.

The two said that since inception of the Jubilee coalition, peace has prevailed in Nakuru County which in the past was an epicenter of war.

On matters healthcare, Uhuru said apart from free maternal health services in public hospital, mothers will from next year be given a one year health insurance in order to access free medical services for that period.

Uhuru hit out at the opposition for casting doom in Jubilee development projects adding that the noise will not derail them from initiating more projects.

The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County

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