Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa and his deputy Ayub Savula have resolved a row that threatened their relationship a few weeks after they were elected.
A week after the two were sworn in, Mr Savula announced that they had agreed to share the administration equally.
He made a series of demands, including half of the county government positions, claiming that he was a ‘co-governor’.
He said they had deposited their agreement – which he claimed spelt out that each of them was to control 50 per cent of the county government – with the Registrar of Political Parties.
In a rare occurrence, the former Lugari MP went ahead to announce that under the agreement, he was not a deputy governor but a co-governor.
“I am not a deputy governor. I am a co-governor of Kakamega. That was our agreement,” Mr Savula said on September 12.
“Just like President William Ruto promised Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula 30 per cent of the government and we see him living to his promise, Mr Barasa and I must keep our word – fifty-fifty.”
On September 15, when the two were sworn in, Mr Savula wore a loyal image and dismissed viral videos doing the rounds on the mainstream and social media in which he declared himself co- governor.
“Ignore all the things that our enemies have been peddling in the media. We will always solve any issues that arise and work amicably,” he said.
Unity of purpose
On September 28, while addressing MCAs at an induction workshop in Mombasa, Mr Savula said they were united for the sake of development.
“We have only one governor, who is the head of the county, and for us to deliver, we must follow his directives,” he said.
“We want a united county and I will work under the directive of Mr Barasa. What we intend to deliver to the people of Kakamega is much greater than my political ambition.”
He warned MCAs against peddling propaganda meant to divide the leadership of the county.
“When you come to my office, don’t peddle propaganda, because I am not ready to consume poison. From the word go, we started implementing what we promised the people of Kakamega,” he said.
“We have a five-year contract with [voters] and we must deliver so that in 2027, it will be easy for us to win the second round.”
He said a split in the executive will only interfere with services for residents and this will affect their prospects for re-election.
He added: “I am not in a hurry and I don’t have serious political ambitions. I am a son of a pastor and I want to promise that in 2027, I will remain the loyal deputy governor of Mr Barasa. I am only 40 years old, ninakimbia kwenda wapi? (I am not in a hurry to go anywhere).”
Mr Barasa said the two were a formidable team that would not allow themselves to be divided by their enemies.
The governor said he was confident that he and Mr Savula would leverage the development milestones of former governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Senator Boni Khalwale had warned the two against engaging in conflicts at the expense of serving the people of Kakamega.
“Our eyes are on you and we will ensure you perform. I will effectively play my oversight role the same way I did to Oparanya between 2013 and 2017,” he said.