Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has handed former Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai and former Senator Malachy Ekal political lifeline after appointing them as his advisors.
Governor Lomorukai appointed Dr Ekai as economic advisor and Prof Ekal as political advisor, saying that the duo are up to task to help him achieve his nine-point development agenda.
“Prof Ekal hails from Loima Constituency while Dr Ekai is from Turkana Central. They are all experienced professionals who are best suited to be my advisors,” the governor said on Monday.
Dr Ekai, who was in 2021 acquitted of corruption charges related to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games financial scandal, was recently part of a Turkana County Pending Bills Review Committee chaired by Fredrick Riaga that reviewed Sh7.3 billion pending bills.
The team came up with a County Pending Bills Review Report that stated that Sh2.1 billion was the bill the county owed contractors and suppliers, and recommended for establishment of an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) which will be a functional records management system at the County Treasury for tracking the bills.
In the run-up to the 2022 General Election, a section of residents had high expectations that Dr Ekai would either vie for Turkana Central Parliamentary seat or the top county seat.
Other top politicians seeking a lifeline with appointments at either national government or county government include two-term Turkana Central MP John Lodepe who unsuccessfully vied for gubernatorial seat on United Democratic Alliance, former senator John Munyes who is also a former Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, and former Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro.
Others are former County Assembly Speaker Ekitela Lokaale and former Women Representative Joyce Emanikor, who unsuccessfully vied for Turkana Central Parliamentary seat.
Turkana’s first governor Josphat Nanok and first county speaker Geoffrey Kaituko are the first politicians from the county to benefit from appointments as Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of President William Ruto and Principal Secretary in the State Department of Labour and Skills Development, respectively.
Mr Kaituko was initially a Special Secretary and Advisor at the Presidency for Social Sector in the Office of the Deputy President.
Mr Lomorukai, who was elected on the Orange Democratic Movement, said he will bank on good working relations with the national government to ensure that the county doesn't miss out on important projects and appointments, as his administration focuses on enhanced service delivery.