Ruto speaks after Energy CS Davis Chirchir heckled in Bomet
Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir was on Sunday, November 19, 2023, forced to cut short his speech after an angry crowd heckled him during a church service in Sotik, Bomet County.
Chirchir had been invited to the podium by the hosting Governor Hillary Barchok to address the congregation when the crowd turned hostile, interrupting the CS's speech.
The residents are said to have been irked by electricity connectivity issues in the area, a mandate that falls within Chirchir's docket.
President William Ruto, who attended the function, sought to calm down the residents during his speech, assuring them that the government was seized of the matter.
"I have heard you (Bomet residents) complaining that my CS Chirchir has not done enough in terms of connecting this region with electricity. I want to assure you that we have heard you," President Ruto stated.
The Head of State, however, noted that 50 per cent of Bomet County had been connected to the national grid, benefiting more than 81,000 people.
"The remaining 50% I will organise how it will be sorted. Chirchir has heard your concerns," President Ruto added.
Chirchir under pressure
CS Chirchir has been under pressure recently to explain the high cost of electricity and fuel in the country.
In June, he established an eight-member committee to fast-track development of a strategy to identify and address the factors behind the ever-rising cost of electricity.
The CS said the committee's report would play a big role in persuading Parliament to lift a moratorium it imposed on signing new power deals.
On the cost of fuel, the CS told the National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Energy in September that there was little the government could do to bring down the prices.
He cited external factors including the Russia-Ukraine war for the high prices.
"We are dealing with several governments who are the suppliers of these products and we are likely to witness even harder times because these are prices presented by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and there is nothing much we can do," Chirchir stated after fuel prices crossed the Ksh200 mark per litre.