North Rift governors under fire for not honouring pre-poll pledges

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What you need to know:

  • The construction of the governor’s office also remains incomplete, seven years after it was initiated.
  • In West Pokot County, Governor Lonyangapuo is facing accusations of doing nothing about the awarding of inflated tenders.

Many first-term governors in the North Rift region are struggling to deal with the challenges their predecessors experienced, less than two years to the next general election.

The governors have come under criticism by the electorate for not honouring their pre-election development pledges or fighting the graft inherited from the former administrations.

In Nandi County, the residents Wednesday took issue with Governor Stephen Sang over stagnated reforms in the health department, citing an endless shortage of drugs in public hospitals despite his pledge to restructure the sector.

“We cannot understand why it has taken the governor so long to reorganise the health sector, making it difficult for residents to access quality health services,” said Mr Jonah Lang’at at Kapkang’ani Hospital.

Governor Sang has also been on spot for not completing projects, including the multi-million-shilling governor’s office and Kipchoge Keino Stadium initiated by his predecessor Dr Cleophas Lagat.

STADIUM

According to Governor Sang, the completion of the stadium has taken long and wants the project to be taken over by the national government through the Ministry of Sports because it requires a lot of funding.

“We will be engaging the national government to take over this project while we utilise funds meant for its completion to put in place a state of the art sports academy for the benefit of our athletes,” said Mr Sang in his recent speech.

The construction of the governor’s office also remains incomplete, seven years after it was initiated despite the contractors being paid more than 70 per cent of the cost.

The project, which was allocated Sh124,574,620 in 2014, was to be complete two years ago but remains unfinished.

The county has tabled Sh7.3 billion budget for its 2020/2021 fiscal year.

“The residents need to exercise tolerance and allow the governor to implement his blue print and complete projects he inherited from previous regimes,” said Finance Executive Alfred Lagat.

But Senator Samson Cherargei has decried shortage of drugs in public hospitals and slow reforms in other key sectors including agriculture which is of economic importance to residents.

“It is unfortunate that most health centres continue to experience acute shortage of drugs while several matters that affect residents remain pending,” said Mr Cherargei in a recent interview.

INFLATED TENDERS

In West Pokot County, Governor John Lonyangapuo who succeeded Mr Simon Kachapin, is facing accusations of doing nothing about the awarding of inflated tenders by the previous regime, which resulted in massive loss of public funds. The governor has invited the EACC to probe the tenders.

“Some of the non-priority projects were awarded to briefcase contractors yet our people are grappling with abject poverty,” he said when he suspended the construction of 23 projects initiated by the previous regime.

In Baringo County Governor Stanley Kiptis who took over from Mr Benjamin Cheboi, has been criticised for allegedly being out of office instead of working to do better than the previous regime.

A sticking issue is the fate of the Sh18 million Kabarnet Stadium whose construction began in 2014 but remains incomplete.

But the governor has prioritised tourism and teamed up with the national government in tackling insecurity caused by banditry and cattle rustling, which he said had retarded development.


By Barnabas Bii, Tom Matoke and Onyango K’Onyango

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