20 UDA aspirants in race for Murkomen’s Senate seat
The battle to replace Kipchumba Murkomen as Elgeyo Marakwet senator has intensified with more than 20 aspirants eyeing the UDA ticket.
The seat felt vacant after Murkomen resigned following his appointed as Roads, Transport and Public Works Cabinet Secretary.
Analysts believe President William Ruto and Murkomen (pictured) will have a big say on the candidate who will carry the party’s ticket.
“The candidate who will be endorsed or will have the favour of the two leaders will be as good as elected,” said Peter Mutai, an Eldoret-based political commentator.
Those who have declared their candidature include human rights activist Jerotich Seii and former MPs William Kisang (Marakwet West) and Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South).
Others are Soy MCA Jonah Tanui, Lawrence Mutwol, former nominated MCA Neddy Kiptoo, lawyer Tim Kipchumba, first Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly Speaker Albert Kochei and Eliud Kiptoo.
Also interested in the seat are businessmen Dan Ruto and Tim Kipchumba. Others are Daniel Kipkemoi, George Bett, Abigael Jerotich, Gladys Maiyo, Jesca Kiplagat, Florence Jepkosgei, Anne Cheboi and lawyers Hillary Cheboi and Kiprop Marirmoi.
Kisang, who lost the parliamentary seat to Timothy Kipchumba in the August 9 polls, yesterday said he is the most qualified for the job having been a two-term MP.
Seii said that she was the most qualified for the job due to her experience in championing for the rights of ordinary people through the “Linda Katiba” initiative.
“We have worked hard together to promote the rule of law. I am ready to serve as Senator of Elgeyo Marakwet,” said Seii, who was among activists who moved to court to challenge the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Kochei said he will champion for more resources to be allocated to the devolved units having experienced firsthand, the challenges counties face while he was Speaker.
“I will be fight for more allocations to counties. During my tenure as Speaker, I experienced the gap in devolved units,” Kochei said.
Kiptanui, who served for two terms as MP, said his ten year experience in Parliament and as assistant minister gave him an upper hand to take over from Murkomen.
The clan factor is shaping up in the senatorial race with the rivalry between the dominant Marakwet and Keiyo communities playing out.