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Ruto scores big in Kamuren win

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

As the dust settles in Baringo South constituency where Jubilee candidate Charles Kamuren won in last week’s by-election, political pundits say Deputy President William Ruto earned some political points in the process.

Ruto’s presence in Marigat on June 2 when he received Kamuren (pictured) to Jubilee after defecting from Kanu lends credence to this argument. 

Ruto, who has locked horns with Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi in battle for political supremacy in Rift Valley, had declared himself the acting area MP after Grace Kipchoim died of cancer in April.

Charles Kipkulei, a political analyst, said the outcome of the by-election was a major victory for Jubilee and particularly for Ruto. “Whereas Kanu was not on the ballot, it was in the race and lost,” he said.

Kamuren, a primary school teacher by profession and a former Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) official, got many Kanu supporters by surprise, especially considering that he had become the face of the Independence party in Baringo.

He had presented the only realistic chance for Kanu to clinch a parliamentary seat in the five constituencies dominated by the Tugen community.

Kamuren won the election after garnering 12, 777 votes while Cynthia Kipchilat emerged second with 8, 968.  He had vied for the seat in 2013 and 2017 but narrowly lost to Kipchoim.

Baringo South constituency was carved out of Baringo Central constituency which Senator Moi’s father—retired President Moi— represented in Parliament for 24 years.