Deputy President William Ruto has told Independent candidates to drop their bids and support those who won in the Jubilee nominations.
Speaking in Eldoret on Saturday, Ruto said that Jubilee government will find positions for those who lost in the nominations noting that their intentions to run against Jubilee candidate is self-defeating.
“We would like to request those who lost in the nominations to drop their ambitions and support Jubilee candidates to ensure we get the majority in all seats,” he said.
“Like we have said before, we will have a lot of positions in government for those who lost in the nominations.”
His sentiments were aimed at calming growing discontent within Jubilee circles over the top hierarchy’s move to express bipartisanship on the candidates they support for the August polls.
Leaders from Uasin Gishu, for instance, have spoken out over their disgruntlement with the current state of affairs in Jubilee calling for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to make public their support for Jubilee candidates.
Jubilee candidates vs Independent candidates
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago had last week threatened to mobilise his supporters to vote for other presidential candidates if Jubilee leaders remained mum over the candidature of Zedekiah Bundotich alias Buzeki, whom he defeated in the nominations.
In a bid to end the political tussle, Ruto urged Buzeki to support Mandago for the governorship race, a call that Buzeki has dismissed.
“I would like to ask my frind Buzeki, in all humility, to drop his race and support Mandago for the Uasin Gishu governorship race,” Ruto said on Saturday.
Buzeki said: “I appreciate DP Ruto’s declaration on the matter and his move to make public who he supports for the seat.”
“I will however not drop out of the race because the people of Uasin Gishu should be given the freedom to choose the governor they want.”
There had been reports that Ruto was behind Buzeki’s push for the governorship seat stemming from his political differences with Mandago.
Mandago at one time differed with DP Ruto over the appointment of Laban Ayiro as Moi University’s acting Vice Chancellor with the governor demanding for the appointment of a “local” for the position.
“Nobody should be denied an opportunity in Kenya because of his religion or where he comes from,” Ruto had said.
Ruto and Mandago were also at loggerheads over the allocation of county funds with Mandago supporting “rebel” governors among them Isaac Ruto in calling for improved funds to county governments.
Jubilee governorship candidates in many other counties including Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nyeri and Nairobi are also facing competition from independent candidates who lost in the party nominations.