Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago
NASA now endorses Jubilee Party’s Jackson Mandago
In a confounding move, the National Super Alliance (NASA) has endorsed Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago of Jubilee Party against his main rival, Zedekiah Kiprop ‘Buzeki’ who is running as an independent candidate. NASA has no governor candidate in Uasin Gishu but has direct nominees for the Turbo parliamentary seat, Deputy President William Ruto’s home constituency. It all began Thursday, when NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga’s running mate Kalonzo Musyoka concluded his political remarks at 64 Stadium in Eldoret town by saying: “If I were a voter here, I would vote for Mandago. If you see him, say ‘hi’,” to applause from the crowd. NASA co-principals Senator Moses Wetang’ula, Governor Isaac Ruto and NASA national campaign chairman Musalia Mudavadi also endorsed Mandago for another term as the crowd praised the team amid shouts of “Mandago!” In reference to Jubilee, Governor Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani party said: “They will not dictate to us who our leaders are. Bomet has decided; here in Uasin Gishu you know who, so if you meet my friend Mandago, say ‘hallo’ to him.” Mr Mudavadi, stirring the crowd with his ‘NASA hao!’ slogan, said: “Nasa hawa, Nasa Uhuru, Nasa Ruto, Nasa Buzeki!” amid cheers. ALSO READ: Corrupt cartels want me out, says Mandago The NASA luminaries were accompanied by the local presidential campaign team, who were formerly DP Ruto’s allies in the defunct United Republican Party (URP). Former boss They included former URP boss and Jubilee Party director David Koech, Chesumei MP Elijah Lagat, Judith Koskei from the NASA secretariat, former MPs Stephen Tarus, Peris Simam, Joseph Misoi, John Cheruiyot, David Sudi, Jesse Maiz, Augustine Cheruiyot and Kipkorir Menjo. The declaration comes about a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy toured the North Rift region, including Uasin Gishu County, where they urged residents to vote for all the Jubilee nominees in the region. Speaking then in Cheptiret, Kesses constituency, after another rally in Kapseret, Governor Ruto threw his weight behind Mandago, urging all those who voted for his (Mandago’s) opponents in the party nominations to back him because he was a Jubilee nominee. And Thursday, he said Mandago was receiving praise from all corners because “he has been identified with his track record and performance in office”. Thursday Governor Ruto told The Standard NASA’s endorsement of Mandago was as a result of a continued battle pitting him against top Jubilee leaders. ALSO READ: Infotrak: Buzeki ahead of Mandago, Joho and Oparanya to retain seats Social media was Thursday abuzz with mixed reactions following Mandago’s endorsement. The Bomet governor said NASA expected Mandago to beat Buzeki. Public knowledge “It is public knowledge that there are more than 64,000 people who will not subscribe to the Deputy President in Uasin Gishu and all that Mandago needs is 60,000 votes to win the upcoming polls,” he said. “No matter what his critics say, the Wednesday endorsement will see him gain and the call was also meant for the non-Kalenjin vote comprising Luo and Luhya who live in the region who are willing to vote for Mandago,” he added.
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