Five governors trounced in Jubilee-ODM primaries
Five governors and nine MPs from the Jubilee Party and ODM on Tuesday became the first victims of voters’ wrath after they lost in nominations.
Governors Cleophas Lagat (Nandi), Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo), Joseph Ndathi (Kirinyaga) and John Mruttu (Taita Taveta) are the first county bosses to lose their seats in the hotly contested primaries in Rift Valley, Central Kenya and Coast.
In Kiambu, Governor William Kabogo conceded defeat to rival Ferdinand Waititu in the Jubilee primaries, even before before the final results were announced. Mr Kabogo dismissed the primaries as a sham, claiming “huge powers want to keep me away”.
Mr Cheboi and Mr Lagat were shown the door by voters. The Baringo governor was trounced by Mr Stanley Kiptis who by Tuesday evening had polled 65, 589 votes from three constituencies against the governor’s 21, 388.
Results for Tiaty and Baringo North constituencies were yet to be received but preliminary figures showed that Mr Kiptis was ahead. In Nandi, Mr Lagat was beaten by Senator Stephen Sang’.
Mr Lagat has faced a difficult time in office including numerous strikes by doctors and health workers.
The embattled Cheboi has been under siege after locals complained that he has been underperforming and had lost touch with the electorate.
A month ago, Mr Cheboi was heckled in Eldama-Ravine town in the company of Deputy President William Ruto. They accused him of failing them.
In Nandi, Mr Sang’ was considered an outsider in the Jubilee Party contest for the county’s top seat but as results trickled in late Monday it became apparent he was headed for a surprise victory.
Pundits had predicted a tough battle between Governor Lagat, former Cabinet Minister Henry Kosgey and former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei.
However, by the end of Tuesday, the 32-year-old lawyer had performed well in all the six constituencies; Nandi Hills, Emgwen, Tindiret, Aldai, Mosop and Chesumei. He beat all the other aspirants in their home constituencies which caught many by surprise.
By Tuesday evening he had 68,239 votes from five constituencies ahead of Mr Kosgey who had 36,425. Mr Koskei had 22,453 and Governor Lagat was a distant fourth with 17,559. Mosop results had not been tallied but they were not expected to cause any significant changes.
In Nairobi, the ODM elections panel yielded to protests and handed Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu the ticket to contest the Taita Taveta governor’s seat in August.
Incumbent Governor Mruttu becomes the first opposition county boss to lose a ticket, though the board left a window for him to appeal through the appeals board.
In Kirinyaga, Governor Ndathi conceded defeat in the Jubilee primaries even before the final results were announced. He made the announcement after results in three constituencies showed he was trailing Kirinyaga Central MP Joseph Gitari and former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.
The results from Ndia, Gichugu and Kirinyaga Central constituencies showed Mr Gitari was leading with 37,632 votes followed by Ms Waiguru who got 33,233 votes while Mr Ndathi was third with 6,217 votes.
Mr Ndathi said the nominations were marred by irregularities. He said he would hold a meeting with his supporters and advisors on Thursday to discuss his next move.
He alleged that few ballot boxes were delivered to his strongholds in Kiburia and Laimu polling stations.
“Although I lost, I lost with my people but Jubilee can have its way and us, the minority, can have our say,” said Mr Ndathi.
The losing governors were joined by MPs Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central), Hellen Sambili (Mogotio), Elijah Lagat (Chesumei), Stephen Bitok (Mosop), Grace Kiptui (Baringo Woman Representative) and her Nandi counterpart Ms Zipporah Kering who were trounced in the tightly contested parliamentary contests.
Mr Mwaita was defeated by Nairobi-based lawyer David Kerich while Ms Kiptui lost to Kenya Power director Susan Chesiyna. Prof Sambili was trounced by a water engineer Daniel Tuitoek who garnered 11,994 against Sambili’s 6,015.
Mr Lagat was defeated by Mr Wilson Kogo who garnered 13,492 votes against the MP’s 7751. Mr Bitok was trounced by Mr Vincent Tuwei.
In Kirinyaga, MPs Njogu Barua (Gichugu), Peter Gitau (Mwea) and Stephen Ngare (Ndia) lost in the primaries.
They had earlier expressed confidence that they would triumph but got a rude shock when they were defeated by newcomers.
Mr Barua was defeated by lawyer Githinji Gichimu who polled 6,825 votes against the incumbent’s 1, 579.
And Mr Gitau was trounced by a computer scientist Mr Kabinga Wathayu. Mr Ngare who is seeking a second term was trounced by little known Nairobi businessman George Kariuki.