A section of the Eldoret business community now says they are against Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago’s plan to vie for the Senate seat in 2022.
Mandago has joined the race to vie for the Senate seat in the upcoming general election as he will have served two terms as governor and will not be eligible to vie for the same seat.
The bid has since attracted opposition from a number of political leaders in the county among them Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi who holds the opinion that Mandago should take a break from local politics and focus his energies on campaigning for Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential bid.
And as Mandago and Sudi exchange war of words over the issue, the business community in Uasin Gishu has joined the debate, asking the governor to retire, as other two-term governors will be doing.
Led by Kimani Wanjohi, the Eldoret business community said they will not support the governor’s bid, and instead announced that they would rather throw their weight behind an aspirant they rarely know.
They accuse Mandago and his administration of harassing traders and hawkers in Eldoret town during the 10-year reign.
“Small traders and hawkers have had a rough time in the hands of county askaris. They have been beaten and their tools of trade confiscated. Mandago will not come here today and say he is a hustler yet he has been harassing the very same hustlers,” said Wanjohi in a media briefing at an Eldoret hotel.
“We better give our support to a youth that we don’t know his name, we are told he is a lawyer and has expressed interest for the Senate seat,” he added, in reference to lawyer Kipchumba Karori who is seeking the Senate seat.
Karori, alongside broadcaster Arap Kemei are two of the Senatorial aspirants that Sudi has told Mandago to allow them face-off, as he (Mandago) focuses on national politics.’
“Huwezi kuja kutafta kura na alama ya wheelbarrows na umenyang’anya watu wheelbarrows zao,” Wanjohi who unsuccessfully vied for the Huruma Member of County Assembly (MCA) seat during a by-election early this year said.
Mandago is seeking to vie for the Senate seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket whose symbol is a wheelbarrow.
Despite some oppositions, the county boss has maintained that nobody has a right to stop him from vying for another seat – and that only the voter should have a final say.
“Wale wako na maswali na candidature yangu tukutane kwa debe. Muombaji mwingine hawezi ambia mwingine asiombe kura…” Mandago said on Friday during the opening of the Ksh173 million Kimumu/Bahati Fresh Produce Market, jointly funded by the County Government of Uasin Gishu, the National Government and the European Union (EU).