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Strong political waves rock the boat of a key ally of Deputy President William Ruto
By Samuel Arap Yego | Updated Jan 08, 2017 at 09:42 EAT

Political heavyweights of Endebess constituency in Trans-Nzoia County are bracing for a battle of titans. Two businessmen declared their plans to fight and end the five-year reign of incumbent MP Robert Pukose. ​ Dr. Pukose a key ally of Deputy President William Ruto who easily clinched the seat in the last elections as he had no strong opponents from his Sabaot community, is for the first time facing stiff competition from his kinsmen.

The first term MP is embroiled in a bitter supremacy battle with local Kitale businessman Alwin Sasia, who is also seeking the Jubilee Party ticket. So bad is the political rivalry between the duos, that their supporters have clashed severally in functions, with the brawl getting physical during the Sub-country Jamhuri Day celebration last month. But it is the candidature of Paul Moiben, a wealthy Mombasa based businessman who is eyeing the seat on a Ford Kenya ticket that is sending shock-waves among members of the public in the vast constituency that borders Uganda. Campaigning on a platform of peace and equality in the constituency that has in the past experienced bloody tribal clashes, Moiben, a son of former nominated MP Moiben, is first emerging to be the darling of the people. Known for his generosity and bottomless pocket, Moiben, who it is said single-handedly funds the activities of the Ford Kenya party in the county, is banking on his philanthropic activities in across the constituency. Notably, Mr. Moiben has the backing of many university students and other young people who feel the current area MP has abandoned them. The MP according to the learners has chosen to sideline them and other elites and is working with people who do not question him. Another factor that may cost Dr. Pukose politically according to locals is his preference to lead DP Ruto and his allies in conducting high profile harambees in the nearby Uganda, a move that has not gone down well with many of the residents. “Dr. Pukose has taken DP Ruto contribution amounting to millions of shillings to harambees in Uganda. He has represented him over four times at similar functions. Never mind that the DP has been to Endebess not more than twice for fundraising. Does it mean we are too rich and don’t have problems in Endebess?” posed Simon Kibet an elder. Analsysts ` expect Moiben, who is already sure he will be in the ballot through Ford Kenya, as he has weak competitors, will give whoever will emerge the winner in the Jubilee party primaries between Dr. Pukose and Mr. Sasia, the proprietor of Lisa Paper Works. Mr. Moiben will have first to square it out with two other candidates Dr. Robert Simiyu and Philip Kapten, a son of former Kwanza MP George Kapten, for the Ford Kenya ticket. But sources have it that the former is a favorite for the party leader Moses Wetangula, who is keen to see his party member and Trans-Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba retain his seat. It is said the CORD co-principal is mulling on ensuring Moiben flies the party's flag, so that in return members of his Sabaot community, who are second largest in population in the county back Khaemba. “ Moiben is better placed to be the next Endebess MP. He is charismatic, has resources and financial muscle and will have the support of the Luhya community if he emerges top in Ford Kenya, which will be added to those votes from his ethnic group. He is a man to watch,” said Peter Kituyi, a Kitale-based political analyst. “The bitter supremacy battles between Dr. Pukose and Mr. Sasia will work to his advantage, as supporters of whoever will be defeated at the Jubilee nominations will likely throw their weight behind Moiben. He is the alternative candidate,” he added.

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