Political leaders in Uasin Gishu have been warned against threatening and intimidating independent candidates vying for various seats in the county.
County Commissioner Stephen Kihara says any individual has a right to vie for any seat, on any political party of choice without fear of intimidation.
Speaking during an engagement with peace actors from across the country, Kihara called for political tolerance from locals and leaders.
“We cannot have an election and say we can’t have this and this party. For us to have democracy, we should allow all people to vie for seats using their preferred political parties,” says the County Commissioner.
He assured candidates who might face intimidation or threats because of their political parties that they will be provided with sufficient security.
Kihara however said, there have been no incidences of threats to independent candidates reported so far.
“There are some small arguments emerging over the independent candidates in this county but so far, we have no issue raised. As the security team, we will ensure security for all aspirants,” said the county security committee chair.
Uasin Gishu being home to Deputy President William Ruto has been considered a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) stronghold.
However, a number of candidates have declared interest in vying for various seats as independents, among them billionaire businessman Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich alias Buzeki who is the gubernatorial aspirant.
There are multiple individuals also vying for Senate, Member of Parliament, and Member of County Assembly (MCA) seats as independent candidates.
And with the diversity in candidates, the County Commissioner assures that they are committed to ensuring a smooth election period.
“We are involving elders, security players, and religious groups as we seek to ensure we have a smooth process without any conflict,” said Kihara.
The upcoming general election is scheduled for August 9, 2022, as per the constitution.
An official campaign period is expected to begin on May 29, 2022.