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Uhuru defends Ruto on claims of meddling with Uasin Gishu nominations

Ruto is said to be favouring businessman Kiprotich Bundotich, popularly known as Buzeki. Photo/FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended his Deputy William Ruto from allegations of meddling with nominations in Uasin Gishu County.

The president said Jubilee Party leadership had “no preferred candidate anywhere in the country”, terming reports that Ruto had tried to influence the outcome of the gubernatorial race in favour of Governor Jackson Mandago’s opponent businessman Kiprotich Bundotich, popularly known as Buzeki as “rumors and propaganda”.

“Our position as party leaders is that only the citizens can pick whoever they want to contest on the party ticket. Mine is to plead to you supporters, please don’t listen to rumors and propaganda,” he said in response to a question from a journalist during a news conference at State House where he was accompanied by Ruto and the party Secretary General Raphael Tuju and National Elections Board (NEB) Chairperson Andrew Musangi.

He urged aspirants and party supporters to avoid apportioning blame to each other over the failed Friday party primaries.

“I plead with all aspirants with all due respect. Let us not blame one another because everyone has the right and freedom to vie for the seat they want,” he said, adding “it is upon the electorate to decide who wins the party ticket.”

During the press conference convened to address the cancellation of Friday primaries due to mass failure, the president apologized to party supporters for the cancellation of the exercise over what he said was under preparation.

“Primaries usually do not experience the kind of large turn out that we saw yesterday (Friday). That is where we had a level of under preparedness and nobody expected the kind of turnout that we witnessed on Friday,” he said.

The party has said it will hold fresh nominations on Monday and Friday.

“We have embarked on a process of remapping the entire process taking into the account the massive account the massive turnout we experienced Friday,” he said.

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