By The Weekly Vision Team
Nandi senator Samson Cherargei and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen have badly fallen out, the bone of contention being the senators’ gubernatorial bid where the incumbent, governor Stephen Sang is serving his last term.
Senator Cherengei has already declared his interest in succeeding Governor Sang; however, CS Murkomen, who is the de facto second-in-command in the Rift Valley after President William Ruto, is opposed to him. During the run-up to the last elections, Mr Murkomen is said to have used his close ties with William Ruto and successfully managed to stop Mr Cherengei from contesting for the gubernatorial seat. This did not, however, go down well with the senator, who reluctantly suspended his gubernatorial ambitions and successfully defended his senatorial seat.
The senator has been attacking Governor Sang since then, accusing him of all manner of issues, including mismanagement of county resources, abuse of office, and corruption. The senator and the governor have become sworn enemies, even as Sang also campaigns against the senator. Sources now say that Sang has brought Murkomen to his side for protection since he has the president’s ears.
It is for this reason that Murkomen and the senator have been trading accusations in public. The two also fell out over road construction tenders in Nandi County. Murkomen has differed with the senator, who had demanded that a contractor from his local community be awarded a road tender in the county.
Murkomen strongly criticized Cherargei for allegedly opposing one of the contractors chosen to pave a road simply because he was not a Kalenjin. The furious CS told the senator that he was not using ‘his brain’. “Cherargei, I want to teach you something. If the President (Ruto) were using a brain like yours, we would not be president today. I’m telling you the truth,” Murkomen said. Speaking during the funeral of the son of Chesumei MP Paul Biego Polo, the CS said the government was awarding contracts fairly without room for tribalism.
Cherargei, on the other hand, has called on President Ruto to act on Murkomen, alongside Public Works CS Moses Kuria. In a social media post, Cherargei said Murkomen is worse than Kuria, the difference being that Kuria rants on social media while Murkomen insults people in public gatherings.
“CS Moses Kuria is a national embarrassment that doesn’t care about respecting anyone, including the appointing authority plus institutions such as the Senate, but he is not alone; he is in the good company of CS Murkomen, who insults and belittles anyone and everyone. Kuria only tweets, but Murkomen is worse. He takes the mic and bullies, insults, and demeans the people and elected leaders, even at funerals! The appointing authority must reign in on these rogue cabinet secretaries,” Cherargei fired.