The entry of Eldoret based business mogul and tycoon Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich popularly known as Buzeki into the country’s political arena shortly before the last 2017 general elections could only be compared to heavy wind tides in the ocean which had seriously threatened to bring Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago’s political journey into a premature end.
His gubernatorial bid was a force to be reckoned with as Buzeki and Mandago who were the frontrunners engaged in a heated supremacy battle as they contested for the then powerful Jubilee party ticket.
The race which had been characterised by ugly public spats, showdowns, mayhelms and patriotic symbols left Buzeki on the floor as Mandago clinched the ticket which automatically determined the next governor following Jubilee’s 2017 might in the Rift Valley region.
Deputy President William Ruto who was still the real deal and decision-maker in Jubilee at that time also hails from this county and the massive following he enjoyed and still enjoys from his home turf is just enough to shape the political future of the entire North and South Rift Regions.
Despite the humiliating defeat Buzeki received during the party preliminaries, there was no doubt that his appearance had made a huge impact and opened the windows for more light if he had decided to calm down and maybe wait for the upcoming 2022 general polls.
He had risen to be the second most powerful man in the home of champions and with his financial muscles, no other contestant would easily take away the throne from him.
His option for an independent party candidate, the fallout with the second in command, joining former rival CCM party and open back up for the highly politicized BBI document have completely edged the self-made heavyweight out of Mandago’s succession matrix within four years.
Buzeki’s public criticism of Ruto and influential local leader including his vow that he will not join the newly formed UDA party have completely torn him apart even as he maintains that he is still in the 2022 gubernatorial race.
At the moment, other aspirants who have opted to remain true to the majority of Uasin Gishu residents by clinging and banking on DP Ruto’s clout are already on the campaign trails and a fresh hot contest to determine who will take over from Mandago is already at the climax. The newly UDA party which has been formed by Ruto’s key allies and now almost ready to be used to propel the self-proclaimed hustler to the State House next year has once again taken the region by a storm.
Just like what was witnessed in many parts of the Rift and Uasin Gishu to be specific, the party’s nomination will determine the victors of general polls and that is how Buzeki will be sent to another and most probably a permanent cold political season.
Those who are now banking on the strongest wave to rise to the lucrative county seat include Kenya’s ambassador to Pakistan and 2013 aspirant Julius Bitok, Former KANU party foot soldier Jonathan Chelilim Bii and Nairobi county employee who also unsuccessfully contested for the seat in 2013 Veska Kangogo.
Uasin Gishu is a cosmopolitan county with about half a million voters hence, therefore, all is not lost for the Buzeki man but only a positive turn can brighten his political journey.