Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua has weighed in on Baringo governorship contest that has seen three former UDA members quit to vie as independent candidates.
Addressing an economic forum in Kabarnet earlier today, Mr Gachagua urged independent candidates to drop their ambitions and support UDA flag bearer Benjamin Cheboi.
The Mathira MP told the incumbent Governor Stanley Kiptis and Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet not to spoil the party for UDA.
Mr Kiptis, Mr Lessonet and businessman Sialo Kimiring are vying as independent candidates.
Mr Gachagua assured the governor and Mr Lessonet that they will get slots in the national government should they drop their bids and support Mr Cheboi.
“Kiptis and Lessonet come, we will get you a slot in the national government. There is no need for you to go independent. You will not be elected and if people say no we will also say no,” he said.
Mr Cheboi trounced his competitors in UDA party primaries held in April after garnering 45,866 votes while Kiptis got 25,976 votes and Lessonet 33,588 votes.
The losers in the nominations contested the results saying the exercise was marred with irregularities.
Kiptis who was determined to defend his seat resigned from the Jubilee party and wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties seeking to contest on an independent ticket.
The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties in a letter dated April 21 gave Kiptis the nod to contest as an independent candidate.
Mr Gachagua said that the time for negotiation is now and that no one will listen to Mr Kiptis and Mr Lessonet should they decline the invite.
“You still have time to make a decision. The time to engage William Ruto and I is now. But once you defy the party and fail you will not be engaged,” he said.
He warned the aspirants against complicating DP’s politics in the area.
“We as Mt Kenya Kenya has said it is six-piece. There is a contribution you can make outside the position you wanted,” he said.
But Mr Lessonet stood his ground and told Gachagua to keep off Baringo politics.
He dismissed calls to drop his bid in turn for a government appointment saying he wants to defends the interests of the people.
Mr Lessonet claimed that Mr Cheboi is not the right person to offer Baringo quality leadership, having served as the first county governor.
He promised to unveil his running mate today.
“Gachagua was not in the meeting I held with Deputy President where I explained to him the irregularities and justified to him why I was going independent,” he said.
Mr Lessonet declared his support to Dr Ruto and pledged to remain loyal to him.
Governor Kiptis said he will issue a comprehensive statement in response to Mr Gachagua's remarks.
“Some of us want to serve the people and the decision lies with the people,” he said.
Mr Cheboi promised to deliver Artificial Insemination and extension officers in Baringo by September if elected.
He said he will work with the national government to ensure water supply to residents from Chemususu dam.
The former governor promised to ensure the milk processing plant in Eldama Ravine will be operational in 90 days of his administration and packaging done in the county.
Mr Kiptis, Mr Cheboi and Mr Lessonet are residents of Eldama Ravine.