Residents of N. Rift salute DP after poll win
North Rift residents yesterday exploded into celebrations after Deputy President William Ruto was declared the president-elect.
The region erupted into song and dance immediately the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati made the big announcement.
This was witnessed in the United Democratic Alliance strongholds among them Eldoret, Kapsabet, Iten and Kabarnet.
In Eldoret, business came to a standstill after residents, who had converged at the historic Paradise roundabout to watch the proceedings live from Bomas on a big screen mounted on the street, learnt that their son has ascended to the throne of power.
“Finally, the son of a peasant has finally clinched the seat after many brushed him aside. This is a wake-up call that the ground is shifting and Kenyans vote in leaders as per their policies, not party euphoria,” Philip Chebunet, a resident, said.
Residents donned in the traditional ceremonial Kalenjin plant ‘Sinendet’ hoped Ruto will fulfil all his election pledges in the run-up to the election including ensuring better maize prices for farmers in the grain basket.
“We also expect his administration to also streamline the distribution of subsidised fertilizer, which has been infiltrated by cartels. As a matter of urgency, we expect him to ensure the reduction of fertilizer prices from the current Sh6,000 to Sh2,000 as he had promised when he was on the campaign trail,” Thomas Bowen, a farmer from Ziwa, said.
The same celebration was witnessed in Ruto’s home area in Sugoi where local residents were glued to their TV screens for the better part of the day waiting for the good news from Bomas. “Victory has finally come home. Everything is possible with God. Who could have imagined that a chicken seller would one day rise to be the president?” another resident, Julius Kitur, asked.
“The DP faced a lot of challenges including being sidelined in the government he served. God has finally answered his prayer,” Kitur added.
When People Daily visited Ruto’s Sugoi home, a stone throw away from where he cast his vote last week, it was all calm with the gate closed, save for a few workers going about their businesses.
Apparently, the DP was in Nairobi with his family to await the announcement of the final presidential results from IEBC.
The same celebrations were witnessed in Iten and Kapsabet in Elgeyo-Marakwet and Nandi counties, which voted overwhelmingly for UDA in the just concluded elections.
In Kabarnet, the hometown of Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, residents thronged the streets to celebrate Ruto’s victory through song and dance.
“This is wakeup call to prophets of doom who have said the DP will not be on the ballot. God’s time is the best,” Nicholas Koros, a Baringo resident noted.
Gideon was handed a humiliating defeat by UDA’s William Cheptumo who garnered 141,777 votes against 71,480 votes by Gideon while Felix Chelaite of The Service Party managed 3,261 votes.
Ruto was declared the winner by IEBC chair Chebukati after garnering 50.49 per cent of the vote against Raila Odinga’s 48.85 per cent.
In Kisii, Ruto’s supporters took to the streets to celebrate his election shortly after Chebukati announced the results.
Business came to a standstill as some of Ruto’s supporters on boda bodas and vehicles chanted Hustler slogans and waved placards.
Shopkeepers closed their shops as early as 3pm as the electoral commission delayed in announcing the presidential results while traders in the town’s open-air market continued with their businesses.
Shopkeepers told People Daily that they feared that hooligans would take advantage of the situation to loot their business premises.
“People were anxious and there was no way I could take chances given the experience traders and shopkeepers had in the last General Election,” a shopkeeper identified only as Philip said.
By the time of going to the press, several DP’s supporters including boda boda operators were still celebrating into the night across the county.
Kisii University Vice-Chancellor Prof John Akama appealed for peace and urged Kenyans to unite and continue with their normal lives.
The VC said elections come and go and implored Kenyans to co-exist regardless of their political differences.