DP William Ruto’s is embroilled in a row over a reported secret list of preferred Jubilee candidates in Rift Valley ahead of primaries on Friday.
The supposed secret list is causing ripples within the Jubilee camp, especially in North Rift, which is Ruto’s home turf.
Jubilee Party aspirants a scheme has been hatched by top DP allies to interfere with primaries and ensure favoured aspirants are declared winners.
Some JP aspirants yesterday told the Star Ruto’s aides Farouk Kibet and Reuben Maiyo have been meeting with selected aspirants.
The DP has said neither his office nor Jubilee will take sides during the nominations.
Farouk dismissed the claims, saying he is not involved in any political activities.
“All that propanganda is nonsense because I have no power to influence how people will vote. I am not a Jubilee Party official and if anything, I have only one vote, for President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he told the Star on the phone.
Farouk said no aspirant should look for scapegoats for their failure.
“Since the campaigns started I have not been to any political function or spoken to any aspirant. The only place I have been appearing is in church to pray and go back home,” he said.
Farouk denied the existence of any list of preferred aspirants. “If we had powers to give aspirants the nomination tickets, we would give them out without going through elections,” he said.
Maiyo could not be reached for comment but Farouk said he too was being blamed for nothing.
The ‘secret’ list of preferred aspirants circulating indicates the nominations in some counties and constituencies may be tampered with to favour certain individuals.
The posts allegedly targeted include the governors’ races in Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet, where some of the DP’s top allies are battling to clinch the Jubilee Party ticket.
Other areas include Nandi Hills, Kapseret, Turbo, Kesses and Cherangany, along with the Senate race in Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu.
In Uasin Gishu, millionaire businessman Bundotich Kiprop, popularly known as Buzeki, has been fighting claims that he is the DP’s preferred candidate for the JP ticket.
The claim was first made by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi during the burial of former nominated MP Mark Too on January 9 in Eldoret.
Gideon spoke in the presence of Uhuru and DP Ruto. He said although Governor Jackson Mandago is a good man, he should know Buzeki was brought in to remove him.
Buzeki denied this, saying he has been successful in his projects, which he carried out on his own.
He said he cannot be anyone’s candidate in the Uasin Gishu race.
Buzeki has carried out massive, well -oiled and coordinated campaigns in Uasin Gishu against Mandago ahead of the primaries.
He has further caused speculation that he may be receiving backing from influential people within Jubilee to unseat Mandago.
He is also facing questions about his academic qualifications to vie for the seat. But Buzeki has not come out to speak on the issue, although a lawyer has filed a case seeking to have him make public his academic credentials.
Mandago is regarded as more independent and aggressive in Nandi, a profile that has earned him enemies in some circles, hence, the plan to remove him.
There are reports he crossed some individuals from Uasin Gishu over the grabbing of housing units belonging to the county government.
His associates say the “grabbers” are fighting to have their “own man” take over the Uasin Gishu administration, where five aspirants are seeking the JP ticket.