Face-off looms as former governors plot comeback

Sunday, June 27th, 2021 22:32 | By
Simon Kachapin (West Pokot).

Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08

 A political showdown is looming in Rift Valley as governors who were floored in 2017 polls plot to make a political comeback. 

 People Daily has established that after being in the political cold for close to five years, the former county chiefs might have learnt the hard way and are planning to give their predecessors a run for their money.  

Among those said to be plotting a comeback include: Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo), Cleophas Lagat (Nandi) and Simon Kachapin (West Pokot.

 The former governors have been tight-lipped on their 2022 political plans but their heightened political activities at the grassroot have betrayed them. 

 Some have for instance put a strong team of mobilisers to spearhead their 2022 political bids. They have also been attending public events. 

Cheboi, who was beaten by little known Stanley Kiptis yesterday said he was contemplating making a political comeback. 

Lots of projects

 “I will make a decision when the time comes. There are a lot of projects I started and I would want to come and complete them. If the people decide that I come back, I will not hesitate to r­un,” he said. 

 Kiptis has dared his rivals to prepare for a bruising political battle in 2022.   “My development track record speaks for itself. Let them come. The people will decide who is the best candidate,” he said. 

 Others said to be eyeing to unseat Kiptis is the Tourism Principal Secretary Dr Fred Segor and Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.

The duo are yet to formally announce their 2022 political plans but they have recently heightened their activities at the grassroots. 

 Chelugui,  was in 2017, prevailed upon by Deputy President William Ruto to vie for the senatorial seat and leave the gubernatorial seat to Cheboi.

Chelugui, however, lost to Senator Gideon Moi and was later appointed Water CS in the Jubilee administration. Cheboi lost to Kiptis by a wide margin in the Jubilee primaries. 

 The same scenario has been witnessed in Nandi county where Dr Lagat is said to be plotting to unseat Stephen Sang.

Dr Lagat is said to be planning to take advantage of claim that the youthful Governor has failed to deliver as expected. 

 A spot check by People Daily revealed that many projects started by Dr Lagat including the governor’s residence in Kapsabet have stalled in what is viewed as rivalry between Lagat and Governor Sang.   

Sang has dared his rivals that he is ready to face them in next year’s polls. 

  Kachapin, who is currently serving as Energy CAS said he will make a political decision when the time comes.  “For now I’m discharging my duties as assigned by the President,” he said. 

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has accused the former Governor of mismanagement during his term in office.

Kachapin has in the recent past accused Prof Lonyangapuo of sabotaging mega projects he initiated during his term, many of which have stalled. 

 Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, who lost to Jubilee candidate Joyce Laboso is also said to be plotting to unseat Hillary Barchok who took over after Laboso’s demise. 

 People Daily also established that Governors serving their last terms in the region were pondering their political future. 

The county chiefs serving their second and last terms include:Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo-Marakwet) and Josphat  Nanok (Turkana). 

 Mandago is on record saying that he will not handover power to the ‘wrong person’. 

 Those eyeing to succeed Governor Mandago include business mogul and politician Zedekiah Bundotich alias Buzeki and  former Kenyan ambassador to Pakistan Julius Bitok.  

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