A twist of events has seen DP William Ruto ask Uasin Gishu governor aspirant Bundotich Kiprop drop out of the race for incumbent Jackson Mandago.
Ruto said on Saturday that Mandago won the primaries in Uasin Gishu and deserves to be supported by all those who lost, including Kiprop alias Buzeki.
“Waswahili husema asiyekubali kushindwa si mshindani (A Kiswahili saying goes ‘he who does not accept loss is not a true competitor)”.
“Buzeki should now withdraw and back Mandago because we want to be a team.”
Buzeki, who went independent after losing the nominations, vowed he will not bow out of the August 8 race.
In February, the businessman denied claims Ruto was sponsoring him to run against Mandago.
The rivalry between Buzeki and Mandago has sparked heated politics in Uasin Gishu, Eldoret town in particular, where Buzeki enjoys massive support.
MPs allied to Mandago, led by Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), had demanded that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto publicly back the Governor and ask Buzeki to step down.
They said this was the requirement for them to guarantee support for Jubilee’s re-election.
Mandago and the two MPs threatened to urge the Kalenjin community in Uasin Gishu to support the Opposition to protest against Buzeki’s bid.
More on this: Tell Buzeki to quit race or else… Mandago tells Ruto
Sources said Buzeki had declined to attend a reconciliation meeting with Mandago and insisted he would not pull out of the race.
The businessman has erected huge campaign billboards in Eldoret town, an indication that he is determined to run the full course.
It remains to be seen whether Ruto’s endorsement of Mandago will change the political scene in Uasin Gishu or if Buzeki will still give him a run for his money in case he refuses to drop his bid.
Earlier, Mandago met held a meeting with leaders from the Kikuyu community in Eldoret. Among those who attended were MCAs Peter Chomba (Huruma) and Peter Muya (Langas) along with several elders led by businessman Joseph Keriri.
The meeting was meant to reach a truce between the leaders who have been engaging in bitter exchanges over the Kikuyu community’s support for Buzeki.
Jubilee Governor Candidate for Kiambu Ferdinand Waititu, who also attended,reportedly brokered the meeting on behalf of Mandago.
The DP, who spoke at Kapseret, said politicians who won the nominations were the people’s choices and that their decisions must be respected.
Ruto said Jubilee leaders and nominations losers must unite and back all those who won the primaries