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Mandago's Succession Race Hots Up As Two Gubernatorial Hopefuls Clash

In the hotly contested fight to succeed Governor Jackson Mandago in deputy president William Ruto's Uasin Gishu backyard, three heavyweights have emerged. Jonathan Bii Chelilim alias Koti Moja leads the UDA, while businessman Buzeki leads the Independent candidates, and William Kemboi Kirwa has thrown his hat into the ring with a UDM ticket.

As the D-day approaches on August 9, it has become clear that the popularity of vice president William Ruto and the UDA party in the county, which has around 500K voters, may not be enough to help UDA candidate Jonathan Bii Chelillim replace Governor Mandago. This is due to the emergence of local politics based on tribal affiliations and previous agreements.

The huge Nandi community of Ruto signed a gentleman's agreement with their Keiyo neighbors in 2013. The Nandi were given the governorship, while the Keiyo were given the position of Deputy Governor. Despite stiff challenge from Buzeki, the Nandi, Keiyo alliance ticket triumphed in both 2013 and 2017.

The Nandi agreed to support a Keiyo candidate for governor in 2022 as part of the accord.

Unfortunately, the Nandis have broken their deal with Myoot elders, stating that such accords have outlived their usefulness and that democracy should be preserved. This has reportedly enraged the Keiyo, who have opted to support UDM's William Kemboi ( a Keiyo ).

This unexpected turn of events has splintered the UDA base in the county, dividing supporters into Kemboi and Chelilim factions. As a result, independent candidate Buzeki, who came close to defeating Mandago, may be able to ride this division to victory. Other communities in the county, notably a big number of Luhyas in vote-rich Turbo, support Buzeki.

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Jackson Mandago Jonathan Bii Keiyo Koti Moja William Kemboi Kirwa


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