In elections, Kenyans sell leadership like a commodity for sale, but the people of Kericho and Bomet counties for once made a wise decision of electing the most learned governors who hold PhD degrees to manage their billions of money.
Kericho CEO Prof. Paul Chepkwony who is serving a second term holds a PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from JKUAT, and was a senior lecturer and associate professor of Biochemistry at Moi University, Chepkoilel campus, now University of Eldoret before he won 2013 elections.
Bomet Counterpart Joyce Laboso is perhaps the most erudite female politician in the country who served as a French don at Egerton University before joining politics to replace her late sister Lonah Laboso who succumbed to tragic plane crush.
Laboso acquired PhD degree in Gender and Language Education in 2006 from University of Hull, in United Kingdom.
In adherence to sessional paper of 1965, the locals made a prudent choice to test the leadership of educated leaders to help them end water shortage, oppressive market for agricultural produce, create job opportunities and help them fight illness with total disregard of their employment history.
It is unfortunate that for the six years of devolution, the number of gaunt children is alarmingly increasing in our counties, meaning people are getting poorer day by day instead of being made rich.
In average, each county gets a whooping amount of sh. 12 billion annually to run Agriculture, health, environment and water. This means, each of our counties ha received sh. 72 billion.
As Makueni locals benefit from dairy factory founded by Governor Kivutha Kibwana and those of Kitui Charity Ngilu’s textile industry, Kericho and Bomet locals hope for compensation by the British Government and the repossession of vast tea estates.
Governor aspirants should understand problems of electorate and be committed to find solutions but woe to us; most aspirants usually give voters lots of money from undisclosed sources with the express purpose of buying leadership solely for self service or enrichment.
“We are very sad as South Rift residents because both Chepkwony and Laboso are let down to us. We expected them to embrace professionals from the region to discuss possible ways of transforming devolved sectors but they are selfish, pursuing own interests,” a senior professional from Bomet who sought anonymity said
“Most of us the poorest of the poor and desperate youths paid attention to party and the wave during the poll season; we don’t scrutinize a leaders basing on the previous records and as a result, we elect leaders who will enslave us” he added
The two Governors have made several foreign trips expected to attract international investors and partners but unconfirmed reports shows many trips had nothing good for the led.
With the rise of cancer cases, patients from South Rift don’t have any government facility in the region. They still travel to Moi Teaching and referral Hospital and Nairobi hospital for specialized treatment.
“We are worried and sad that many of cancer patients from poor countries in the region are suffering with no proximal and affordable facility to seek treatment. Isaac Ruto was voted out while planning to establish a cancer centre near Longisa but it seems Laboso has no plans of building the facility on the already purchased land” a Kiptoo Koech from Bomet said
We have also received reports of drug shortage at Longisa County Referral and Kericho County Referral are still reported under their watch.
“I am mad at Kericho Governor who has mastered the art of cheating on us since he came to power. He talked of an ICU and modern ambulances but as we speak expensive ambulances were imported and are now grounded outside county referral without any explanation to the public” Joseph Maritim said
Maritim however faults electorate for being bribed during elections to vote for leaders with blank development backgrounds.
“We should be careful not to use party waves and bribes to vote leaders who have no track record on administrative duties and who have not headed any public institution in the past. Both Laboso and Chepokwony never headed any institution before their election” Maritim lamented.
Other ghost projects that Chepkwony has promised to set up in vain include: employing 2500 ICT youths, failed Soin Solar plant, University at Kapsorok, Pepper factory in Kipkelion, sweet potato value addition plant and completing pine apple factory in Roret.
Mercy Chepkoech from Sotik, said, women MPs saw Laboso’s feebleness long time ago when they splashed water on her while chairing a National Assembly Session.
Should it be true that people of South Rift are getting poorer than they were, then locals endorsed their own enslavement and oppression after poverty made them blind.
In the coming elections, locals should scrutinize the background of the aspirants and elect with efficacious administrative and honest financial accounting.
However, it will be true that “poverty corrupts, and absolute poverty corrupts absolutely,” If the reader will see this story as an attack instead of taking it as a lesson.