NLM Writer A fierce battle is happening between Jubilee Party candidate Joyce Laboso and the incumbent Isaac Ruto on Chama Cha Mashinani for August for the Bomet gubernatorial position. Governor Ruto, who became the Chepalungu MP in the late 1990s, is one of the fiercest critics of Deputy President Ruto, with whom he has since fallen out. Ruto has challenged Jubilee Party for its “tuko pamoja” slogan by painting it as a cover for runaway corruption, and as empty rhetoric for consumption of the gullible. The governor says he has come under heavy criticism from Jubilee party leaders for his independent stance, and that he supports the opposition Nasa, where is one of its principles, because its leaders genuinely back devolution. ‘Rebel’ tag Despite his popularity, however, the governor is faced with the challenge of shading off the tag “opposition agent” that hangs over his head like a bad dream. The governor’s opponents, particularly Dr Laboso, have taken advantage of his fallout with the DP to campaign against him, and paint him as the champion of divisive politics, particularly amongst the Kalenjin. The CCM leader has even been branded an enemy of development for allegedly being against projects being initiated by National government in Bomet. One of the projects being cited is the establishment of a constituent college of Moi University in Bomet town, which the governor would rather have constructed at Sigor area. In May, a court decided that the institution should be located in Bomet as earlier preferred by the majority of the county leaders and residents. The governor has also been at pains to explain why he refused to sign a medical equipment lease spearheaded by the national government three years ago. With Bomet regarded as one of the “Jubilee zones”, the governor has confounded the Jubilee party and its candidate, by pulling huge crowds to his rallies.
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