Buzeki the man to beat in Uasin Gishu as Joho and Oparanya to retain seats- Survey

Buzeki and Governor Mandago

It appears the move by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to endorse Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago after the bitter Jubilee nominations has not helped matters if an opinion poll released yesterday is anything to go by.

The survey by Infotrak Research and Consulting, which comes 23 days to the elections, suggests that a huge chunk of voters in the county have a highly approve of businessman Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprotich ‘Buzeki’ over rival Mr Mandago.

According to the findings released yesterday in Nairobi, 54.2 per cent of residents in the county which is home to the DP would vote for Buzeki, an independent candidate, if elections were held today.

Out of the respondents polled, 42.1 per cent said they would vote for the incumbent if elections were to be held today, a matter that is likely to pose a headache to the DP.

Shelve ambitions

According to the polls, 3.7 per cent of the residents of Uasin Gishu, which has six sub counties and 30 wards, are undecided.

Last month, Ruto appealed to the businessman to shelve his gubernatorial ambitions in favour of Mr Mandago and he flatly rejected to give in.

“I will not step down in favour of anyone. I want to repeat that I will be on the ballot on August 8. The people of Uasin Gishu have read my manifesto and they want me to be their governor for the next five years,” he told journalists.

He explained that it will be unfair to deny his supporters an opportunity to exercise their democratic right of electing leaders of their choice.

“My people of Uasin Gishu, remember I bring peace, unity and development. That is what I stand for and it is on that basis that I will be asking for your votes. I believe Uasin Gishu will have a new governor who will be Buzeki,” he added.

In the Uasin Gishu senatorial race, Jubilee candidate Margaret Kamar leads with 59.2 per cent followed by independent candidate Robert Kemei at 15.9 per cent and Thomas Kipkurui nine percent.

In the Woman Representative race, former chief registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei leads with 69.3, independent candidate Rael Chebichil comes a distant second with 8.3 per cent, Cheruto Josephine (Kanu) 5,4 per cent, Jepkorir Moira (ANC) 2.9 per cent and Kipkemoi Grace (Maendeleo Chap Chap) 1.6 per cent.

According to the research that also extended to two other counties- Mombasa and Kakamega, Governor Hassan Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya will also retain their seats.

Interestingly the two county bosses are Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Deputy Party leaders.

Mr Joho has a head start with 63 per cent of the respondents affirming that they would re-elect him on August 8.

His closest rival, Jubilee’s Suleiman Shahbal comes a distant second with 15.3 per cent, while Senator Hassan Omar of Wiper Democratic Movement and Nyali MP Bollo Awiti come third and fourth at 4.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Mr Oparanya is leading with an overwhelming 68.3 per cent, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale who is vying on a Ford Kenya ticket is placed second at 13.1 per cent while Jubilee Party’s Muruli Mabel comes a distant third with 1.1 Per cent.

Infotrak Research and Consulting Senior Researcher Mary Mburu said 900 respondents were interviewed in Uasin Gishu County, 1,000 in Mombasa and 1,800 in Kakamega.

The survey covered all the sub-counties and wards in the respective three counties.