Kericho Governor Mutai unveils list of nominees to his cabinet

Kericho Governor Dr Hillary Mutai addressing residents of Litein town in the county on September 5, 2022. 

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

Kericho Governor Eric Mutai has unveiled a list of 11 nominees to his cabinet and forwarded the names to the county assembly for vetting.

Four women were among the picks for the County Executive Committee (CEC), with Dr Mutai saying it was “a delicate balancing act between the youth and the elderly”.

Only one CEC member is from Bureti constituency, where the Governor hails from, while another one and the county secretary are from Kipkelion East, the backyard of Deputy Governor Fred Kirui.

Kipkelion East, where the assembly Speaker, Dr Patrick Mutai, resides, has one CEC position and the chief of staff.

Ainamoi has the largest share, three positions, while Soin Sigowet has two on the list unveiled on Thursday.

The nominees include Dr Wesley Bor (county secretary and Public Service), Mr Leonard Kipkoech Ngetich (Finance and Economic Planning), Mr Daniel Kipkorir Rop (Agricultural, Livestock and Cooperatives Management) and Ms Rosemary Chepkirui Rop (Water Environment, Energy, Forestry and Natural Resources).

The others are Ms Ednah Chepkirui Tonui (Health), Ms Lawrence Kipkoech Bii (Education, Culture, Libraries and Social Services), Judy Chepkorir (Information Communication Technology, e-government, Youth Affairs and Sports).

The governor also nominated Mr Brian Cheruiyot Langat (Lands, Housing and Physical Planning), Mr Erick Kipngetich Koech (Public Works, Roads and Transport), Ms Brenda Bii (Public Service Management) and Mr Benard Bii (Trade, Industrialisation, Innovation, Tourism). Mr Vincent Kigen was appointed chief of staff.

It is one of Dr Mutai’s first steps as he takes charge after succeeding Prof Paul Chepkwony as governor. Prof Chepkwony, who served two consecutive terms, has bowed out of elective politics.

“I have compiled a list of professionals that are passionate, hardworking, humble in means but with rich ideas to help in [discharging] my mandate and deliver on our manifesto,” Dr Mutai said in his first address to the third county assembly, a day before unveiling the nominees.

He appealed to MCAs to expedite vetting.

Dr Mutai said he wants to instill professionalism and seal corruption loopholes.

“I do not guarantee perfection, but I promise progress … Let us all move with speed to deliver the promise to the people as the clock has started towards the end of our five-year term in office,” he said.

He sought to win the trust of the legislature, saying the executive could not be expected to deliver the development agenda on its own.

“I beseech you to live together in harmony as a House, as Kericho is known for its stability with a leadership that is committed to service delivery,” he said.

“My administration submits to the authority of this House. I assure you that the executive will be in constant consultation with the legislature.”

Fixing the health department is one of the key planks of the governor’s manifesto and has asked MCAs to raise budgetary allocations to it.

He has identified making drugs more available and providing medical equipment and competent professionals as quick fixes.

“We need to redirect funding to the health sector, ensure drugs are available, build the capacities of the employees and ensure vulnerable families have access to Universal Health Care,” Dr Mutai said.

For the umpteenth time, he said Kericho Referral Hospital was run down, with patients subjected to untold suffering for lack of treatment and perennial drug shortages.

“I will be seeking [MCAs’] support to set up an oncology centre at Kericho Referral Hospital to ease pressure on cancer patients who are forced to travel to Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County to seek treatment,” Dr Mutai said.

He added: “Apart from the high costs involved, the pain of travelling to and from Eldoret is painful for the cancer patients and their families and we must as leaders find a solution to it.”

To create job opportunities for locals, he said, labour-based contracts will be adopted by his administration with only technical fields being given out to contractors.

The county will sponsor 3,000 students at technical and vocational training centres and increase internship slots for students from universities and middle-level colleges.

He revealed that proceeds from the Kabianga tea farm and the Kipkelion coffee farm, which are owned by the county, will be redirected to boost the bursary kitty for bright but needy students.

The two farms have not posted profits in the last few years, with the new administration seeking to turn them around.

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