“Don’t come and play politics in Bomet; we will not allow that. Come with a development agenda and tell us what you are doing for the people of Bomet, but politics will wait until 2027, then we can meet in the field. We will not allow anyone to come and politick in Bomet, and if you don’t have any other business apart from politics, don’t come,” -Governor Hillary Barchok
By The Weekly Vision Team
Bomet County Governor Hillary Barchok seems to have declared total war against President Ruto’s administration over what he terms as neglect of the country by the national government. Recently, the governor came out openly accusing President Ruto’s blue-eyed boy, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen of interfering in the political affairs of the South Rift region.
Governor Barchok’s attack on CS Murkomen was deemed as an indirect attack on President Ruto’s administration. The governor’s outburst has lifted the lid on the political undercurrents in the president’s backyard threatening the prevailing unity between leaders and their supporters.
The governor called a press conference where he claimed the national government was using the county as a political battleground instead of initiating development projects. According to the governor, Bomet County has only received Ksh. 9 million in capitation from the national government since President Ruto ascended to power a year ago. He went on to accuse Ruto’s administration of neglecting the North Rift, noting that the region had yet to benefit from key state projects despite overwhelmingly voting for him in the last election.
“Don’t come and play politics in Bomet; we will not allow that. Come with a development agenda and tell us what you are doing for the people of Bomet, but politics will wait until 2027, then we can meet in the field. We will not allow anyone to come and politick in Bomet, and if you don’t have any other business apart from politics, don’t come,” he said.
According to sources, the governor is under siege and might not finish his final term in office; there are plans in place to impeach him. The bone of contention, according to sources, is the 2027 elections, where Mr Barchok is said to be grooming a candidate as his successor against the wishes of the president and other Kalenjin power brokers.
In his attack, the governor did not spare Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei and six local MPs accusing them of undermining his administration and failing to support development projects initiated by the county government. Governor Barchok is said to have differed with Mr Murkomen after it emerged that the CS was pushing for Senator Sigei to succeed him, while others say President Ruto prefers former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto to reclaim the seat he lost to the late Lorna Laboso in 2017.
Sources say it was CS Murkomen who brokered a deal between Isaac Rutto and the president, which eventually led to Rutto being appointed as a commissioner with the Judicial Service Commission. However, Murkomen is said to be pushing for Senator Sigei as the next governor, while the president’s choice is Isaac Rutto.
There is an emerging trend in Rift Valley where the Kipsigis are attempting to create their own centre of power through Governor Barchock. Former MP Kipkalya Kones was the undisputed leader of the Kipsigis Community, and upon his demise, former Roads Minister Franklin Bett became the community’s kingpin.
It is for this reason that Governor Barchok is now talking about the North Rift leadership not being happy with the national government. There are murmurs in the North Rift that the region that voted overwhelmingly for President Ruto has now been sidelined in the sharing of the national cake. The governor, who claims that he is under pressure from voters to deliver, demanded answers as to why the region has been sidelined while other regions are benefiting from multi-billion-dollar projects.