SECTIONS

William Ruto's home turf calm as vote tallying continues

DP William Ruto speaks after casting his vote at Kosachei Primary School in Turbo, Uasin Gishu County. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Uasin Gishu County, the home of Deputy President William Ruto, remained calm yesterday as the declaration of results continued at a snail’s pace.

Normalcy began to slowly return, with business activities resuming in rural Uasin Gishu and Eldoret, after they were closed during election day.

Counting of votes at IEBC’s constituency and county tallying centres continued.

Residents and leaders described the election as peaceful, despite the slow pace in declaration of results.

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Bii, who was leading in the IEBC tallies by yesterday afternoon, asked residents to remain calm as they awaited the verification and declaration of results by the commission.

Mr Bii described the calm during the Tuesday exercise as impressive and said residents were eagerly waiting for the declaration of presidential results.

“Uasin Gishu had been mapped out as a violence hotspot, but we proved that we are a peaceful people. We have urged our people to wait for results at home and maintain peace,” Mr Bii said yesterday.

Uasin Gishu Governor and the county Senate candidate on a UDA ticket, Jackson Mandago, condemned fracas between supporters of Bii and those of Independent governor candidate Zedekiah Bundotich Buzeki on Monday night.

Mr Mandago warned leaders against breaching the peace and called on security agencies to be vigilant.

Uasin Gishu Senate candidate on a UDA ticket, Jackson Mandago. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

“Our role as politicians was to seek votes by selling our agenda. As leaders, we avoided practices that would lead to hostilities,” he said.

On Tuesday, after voting at Kosachei Primary School in Sugoi, the Deputy President asked his supporters to remain peaceful during and after the electioneering period.

Ruto asked his supporters to respect the choice of Kenyans who had divergent views.

“Respect the choice of everybody, even if it is different from yours. It is the essence of democracy,” he said.

Uasin Gishu police commander Ayub Gitonga said the enhanced deployment of police officers to polling and tallying centres had paid off.

Mr Gitonga said the county was well patrolled and urged residents to be calm as they waited for the declaration of results.

“The county had been mapped out as a violence hotspot but during the campaign period, we have not used even a single teargas canister nor round of ammunition to disperse any charged crowds,” the police boss said.