Inside Politics

Twice unlucky ‘gavana wa baiskeli’ now takes a break

Thursday, April 28th, 2022 02:10 | By
Uasin Gishu governor aspirant Solomon Maritim Kiptarbei PHOTO/Courtesy

After being twice unlucky in the Uasin-Gishu governor race, Solomon Maritim Kiptarbei, alias ‘Gavana wa Baiskeli’, has taken a break from politics. Maritim, 35, was last in the just-concluded United Democratic Alliance (UDA) primaries after garnering a paltry 1,032 votes. 

Talking to People Daily yesterday, Maritim said he appreciates the support the people of Uasin-Gishu gave him during the campaigns.

“I don’t take it for granted. For now, I will take a break before I decide on my next course of action,” said Kiptarbei, who in 2017 also lost the Jubilee Party primaries.

“I had many ideas to uplift our people but all is not lost. There is always a next time,” he added. 

In the primaries held last week, Uasin-Gishu politician Jonathan Bii ‘Koti Moja ‘ clinched the UDA ticket after garnering 71,152 votes followed by former ambassador to Pakistan Julius Bitok (59,001 votes).

Others were ambassador to China Sarah Serem (19,112 votes), Soy MP Caleb Kositany (17,150), former Nairobi Environment County executive Vesca Kangogo (7,463 votes) and former Uasin-Gishu county Assembly deputy speaker David Sing’oei (5,060 votes).

In his manifesto, Maritim had pledged to reach out to development partners to ensure that farmers in the grain basket get subsidiies.

Bii will face off with Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich alias Buzeki and William Kirwa. The incumbent, Jackson Mandago, is in his last term.

Residents of Uasin-Gishu county who spoken to People Daily yesterday heaped alot of praise on Kiptarbei whom they described as among few aspirants who had the people’s interests at heart. 

“It is sad that politics has been  commercialized in this country. Many people may have alot of ideas to transform this country but just because they don’t have the financial muscle, wrong people will continue to be elected into political office,” said Vincent Chirchir, a youth leader.

In his manifesto, Maritim had pledged to reach out to other development partners to ensure that farmers in the grain basket get subsidized to boost food production. 

According to Maritim,  Uasin-Gishu has a lot of potential in agriculture but farmers are still grappling with a lot of challenges including poor maize pricing and lack of subsidized fertilizer which he says none of his opponents has addressed in their manifesto.

Bii will now face-off with business mogul and politician Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich alias Buzeki and William Kirwa, also an independent candidate. 

Buzeki decamped from former Bomet governor Isaac Rutto-led Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) after the former county boss backed the Deputy President William Ruto. The businessman has fallen out with the DP.

Governor Jackson Mandago who is clearing his second and last term has since declared that he will vie for the senatorial seat currently being held by Prof Margaret Kamar. Senator Kamar will defend her seat as an independent candidate. 

Mandago has already secured the UDA party ticket for the Senate seat, after garnering 75, 847 votes against his closest challenger- lawyer Kipchumba Karori who secured 55,854 votes.

Comedian Robert Kemei was third with 23,957 votes. Mr Kemei has since announced that he will vie as an independent candidate. 

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