Only two women have so far expressed interest in gubernatorial races in the North Rift.

Kabiaga University lecturer Dr Loice Kipkorir and Nairobi Devolution executive Vesca Kangogo have hit the ground running and are not leaving anything to chance.

Kipkorir, also popularly known locally as Jemencho Kabon, has declared her interest in the Elgeyo Marakwet seat. She seeks to replace Governor Alex Tolgos, who is serving his second and last term.

Loice Kipkorir Kabon

The environmentalist has a long history of teaching and community work in Elgeyo Marakwet.

“Having grown up in that region, I know what kind of leadership is needed to uplift our people to the next level where they will not suffer from poverty and other challenges. I have what it takes to lead the county as governor,” Kipkorir said.

She will face off against Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich and Eldoret National Polytechnic principal Josphat Sawe.

Tourism CAS Joseph Boinnet, formerly Inspector General of Police, has yet to declare an interest but is among those expected to enter the fray.

Kipkorir will first have to square off for the UDA ticket. She says being a woman, her leadership will focus on the welfare of residents.

Kangogo will be making a second stab at Uasin Gishu seat, having lost to Governor Jackson Mandago in the Jubilee nomination in 2017.

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She is one of the aspirants already causing ripples in the county as the race to succeed Mandago hots up.

“With the experience I have in running one of the largest dockets in Nairobi county, I feel I’m well equipped to offer leadership in my home county of Uasin Gishu.

“I will be seeking to prioritise uplifting the lives of our people through well laid-down policies and economic strategies,” she told the Star.

UDA, a party associated with Deputy President William Ruto, is expected to be dominant and Kangogo will be seeking to fly its flag.

Party nominations are expected to be tight, with several allies of the DP, including Kangogo, in the race.

Kenya’s envoy to Pakistan Julius Bitok is also among those angling to replace Mandago. Others are politician Jonathan Bii, Soy MP Caleb Kositany, and Ngenyilel MCA David Singoei.

Influential businessman Zedekiah Bundotich, alias Buzeki, is preparing to run as an independent.

Tolgos and Mandago are among four second-term governors in the North Rift.

With just a year to the polls, none of the governors has come out to clearly explain their political future, even as most political leaders intensify their campaigns.

Other exiting county chiefs are Patrick Khaemba of Trans Nzoia and Turkana’s Josphat Nanok.

Mandago and Nanok have taken an active role in campaigning for Ruto, while Khaemba and Tolgos have taken a largely low political profile even though Tolgos is a close ally of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

Mandago has been sending indications that he may vie for the Senate seat in Uasin Gishu, which is held by Prof Margaret Kamar. There has been speculation that he may also decide to vie for Soy parliamentary seat.

“I am still energetic and can serve in any position, but we will decide at the right time,” he told a meeting at Cheptiret, urging aspirants and Kenyans to remain united and peaceful.

“I always tell people not to harbor very strong feelings and emotions about politics. Politics is just for a season; it comes and goes, but all else has to go on regardless of what happens in politics.”



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