Members of the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association (Gema) living in Uasin Gishu County have endorsed Governor Jackson Mandago’s re-election bid in the August general election.
Mr Mandago, who is seeking a second term, got the boost on Thursday from the leaders who met at Queens Garden Hotel in Eldoret Town.
However, Mr Mandago was not at the meeting convened by the Gema leaders.
Others eyeing the Uasin Gishu County seat are businessman Bundotich Kiprop, popularly known as Buzeki, former Nandi County Chief Health Officer Edward Serem and Mr Felix Butit.
Through the Gema Organising Secretary, Mr Paul Kinyanjui Mwangi, the members said they will rally behind Mr Mandago’s candidature.
“The entire Gema living in Uasin Gishu has endorsed Governor Mandago to defend his seat,” Mr Mwangi told journalists after a closed-door meeting at the hotel.
However, Mr Mwangi clarified that they had not been influenced by anyone to make the decision.
“As a community, we have just sat down and agreed without involving Mr Mandago. If there is anyone out there with contrary opinion then let him or her endorse the candidate of his choice. We are living in a democratic country,” added Mr Mwangi.
He said that they chose to endorse the governor because of his development record.
“(Governor) Mandago has initiated a lot of development projects and there is no way we can reverse this. We are not ready to send him home because you don’t turn down a winning team,” explained Mr Mwangi.
Speaking at the same time, Gema Patron, Uasin Gishu Chapter, Joseph Wainaina said that they had decided to embrace peace and unity.
“There is no way we can say that Mandago has not performed well when his track record says it all,” said Mr Wainaina.
According to Mr Wainaina, the governor has scored 80 per cent during his first term.
“We are not saying that we don’t want other candidates opposing him but we want to vote for him based on his track record. We want him to complete the projects he has initiated just the same way we have agreed to let President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto finish their terms then we look for other options,” said Mr Wainaina.