Panic has gripped Jubilee aspirants in North Rift following claims that powerful individuals in Deputy President William Ruto’s office have drawn up a list of preferred candidates for the party primaries.
The individuals, some of who are the DP’s personal aides, are alleged to be plotting to have one of their own control the administration of their targeted areas by influencing the nominations results.
Areas claimed to be on the operatives' watchlist include Uasin Gishu governorship, Kapseret, Nandi Hills and Cherangany parliamentary seatsin the North Rift.
But the alleged ‘targeted’ leaders in the region have demanded that the Friday party nominations must be free and fair.
The aspirants have asked the DP to rein in his handlers out to influence results of the nominations.
Speaking at Ziwa during a charged political meeting, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and Governor Jackson Mandago sensationally claimed the operatives want to grab land and pilfer public resources in the region thus the rush to ‘plant friendly’ candidates on the people.
“We have alerted the residents of the plot and asked them to jealously guard the nomination results from the polling stations up to the county tallying centre. We shall not accept rigging and we shall fight off to the end for justice to prevail,” said Sudi.
Sudi is facing challenge from Stephen Yego while his vocal Nandi Hills counterpart Alfred Keter is battling it out with former Communications Director in the DPs office Emmanuel Tallam.
Mandago is also facing stiff competition from business magnate Zedekiah Kiprop, popularly known as Buzeki, in the upcoming Jubilee primaries.
Buzeki is perceived to be working with the DP's office but the aspirant has shrugged off the claims.
Buzeki, a soft spoken entrepreneur whose rise into successful businesses at tender age has inspired many said; “I am a self-made individual and it is laughable for people to think that I need political endorsements to clinch the governor’s seat.”
He said his competitors are afraid his humility of interacting with the meek and mighty in equal measure which most politicians cannot do.
“I am not competing with any individual but with the myriad of challenges affecting the people of Uasin Gishu County. I am a liberal and independent person with inherent management skills honed for decades,” said Buzeki.
Mandago is regarded as more independent, aggressive and intolerant while discharging his duties earning him friends and enemies in equal measure.
However, he said he will not be cowed by individuals sitting in boardrooms making decision for the county.
“We are also aware of plans to rig me out in the nominations and as the people we are demanding free and fair nominations,” said the governor.
Mandago wondered why his main challenger (Buzeki) appeared when elections were just around the corner.
“I am independent in decisions and some my detractors are not happy with me. They have tried all means to coerce me into succumbing to their demands but when all proved futile, they sponsored a person to remove me from office,” said Mandago.