President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday avoided Eldoret town on his way to Moi Barracks for a military pass out parade following information rival camps for the governor seat in Uasin Gishu had hired youths to heckle each other.
Uhuru’s plan to campaign in parts of Eldoret was postponed.
Uhuru, who had been scheduled to go by road to the event, opted to fly directly from the Eldoret State Lodge to the Recruits Training College and then back to Nairobi.
Also conspicuously missing was Deputy President William Ruto, who attended functions elsewhere, as did Governor Jackson Mandago.
Mandago and millionaire businessman Bundotich Kiprop, popularly known as Buzeki, are engaged in a battle for the governor position, causing tension in the region.
Supporters of both Mandago and Buzeki waited in vain for Uhuru in Eldoret town, only to learn he had flown to Nairobi.
Sources said some local politicians had ferried their supporters to Eldoret town to cause a disturbance, fearing the President would endorse one of the two.
Uhuru and Ruto were expected to carry out roadside campaigns in parts of Turbo and Eldoret town.
Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdi Hassan, however, said the President’s programme was not changed at the last minute.
“We have tight security in the region as usual, and we had no reports to that extent,” he said.
Buzeki said he was not in Eldoret and was busy campaigning in other parts of the county.
A group of Mandago’s supporters, led by MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), had demanded the President and Ruto prevail upon Buzeki to drop out of the race and back Mandago because he won the JP primaries.