By The Weekly Vision Team
Barely a year after Trans-Nzoia Governor George Natembeya and Deputy Governor Philomena Kapkory took the oaths of office, they seem to have badly fallen out. Attempts to reconcile them have failed, sources have told The Weekly Vision. The source of the conflict is the governor’s failure to implement the pre-election pacts, including the sharing of key appointments.
It is claimed that the governor has sidelined the deputy in key decision-making decisions and that she is being treated like a flower girl. Attempted to reconcile the two by local elders failed. The poor working relationship threatens to derail service delivery in the county, with the difference expected to trickle down to the County Assembly. There are speculations that Governor Natembeya, who is now working closely with President William Ruto’s administration, is contemplating appointing a Kalenjin deputy to secure his tenure in office.
It is important to take note that out of the 25 elected MCAs in the Trans Nzoia County Assembly, UDA has the majority with 11 MCAs, followed by DAP-K with 7 MCAs and Ford-Kenya with 3 MCAs. ODM has only two elected MCAs. There are even claims that the governor is plotting to have her impeached through the county assembly. In the run-up to the last elections, Mr Natembeya found himself between a hard place and a rock in naming a suitable deputy. He finally settled on Kapkory, who is from the Saboat community.
Statistically, the majority of MCAs are allied to Kenya Kwanza (14 MCAs). Aware that he can rally the 7 DAP-K MCAs behind him, he has the majority support in the assembly, hence the need to work with UDA. The fallout between the governor and the deputy is so bad that she has been denied use of her designated official residence. She further claims that her security is not guaranteed as there have been threats against her life. She has further claimed that there is a lack of facilitation to discharge official duties, contempt, mistreatment, intimidation, threats to her life, public vilification, and deliberate acts of disrespect by junior county staff acting on behalf of the governor.
One embarrassing situation was when she was in the US attending the United Nations General Assembly. She received several messages from concerned residents informing her of abusive and threatening posts on various social media platforms targeted at her. She claimed that the threatening messages were posted by known officials who are part of the governor’s communication team and that the messages were published or posted after a delegation of members of the Sabaot community made a presentation at the National Dialogue Committee at Bomas, demanding the creation of an extra county.
One interesting thing worth noting is that the DG revealed that the former Deputy Governor handed over to her the keys to the official residence of the Deputy Governor in August last year, but the office was blocked. Interestingly, Natembeya’s spouse was later allocated the same house as her office, and she has never been given an alternative official residence.