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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Bomet varsity site debacle may cost county golden chance

A section of Bomet county leaders met in Bomet to deliberate on the ongoing Bomet University site and resolved to support Bomet town as the site on which the university will be erected while those with divergent views were denied the opportunity to express their stand.
The meeting was attended by MPs Joyce Laboso, Ronald Tonui, Sammy Koech, Benard Bett and Senator Wilfred Lesan.
Others in the meeting were National Water and Conservation chairman Julius Kones who was among the key leaders who have been urging elected leaders to meet and agree on crucial issues touching on the county.
Youths who were wearing T-shirts written, “Team Bett for University and others Bomet University Bomet Town-Team Ronald” appeared to have no time to listen to those with different opinions.
Nominated member of county assembly Patrick Chepkwony was forced to cut short his speech when he expressed his support for Sigor as the site.
The MCA was forced to sit after one of his colleagues grabbed the microphone. It made others who had similar opinion keep it to themselves to avoid embarrassment from the goons who appeared ready to discipline those who were fronting for Sigor site.
The Sigor as site is said to have been preferred by the university senate since it has 65 acres of land while Bomet has 35 acres.
Politics has taken centrestage with the silent majority supporting Sigor but the few have opposed the same with claims that Isaac Ruto was taking everything to Chepalungu his home turf.
Series of parallel meetings have been going on and a month ago two members of parliament held a demonstration to protest Sigor as the university site.
The MPs who were led by Ronald Tonui and Benard Bett were later overpowered by the governor’s group.
In what appears to be a revenge mission, the venue was  switched to St Bakhita Catholic Conference Hall.
One of the Catholic nuns in charge of the conference saw how emotional the meeting was and urged the leaders to conduct the meeting in a respectful manner as they were on a holy ground.
The major problem with the speakers during the meeting was not addressing issues at hand but  insults for those with the opinion that Sigor be the university site.
Unless a consensus is reached, it may take a longer period since leaders who endorsed Bomet town will require the final county approval.
The government has set up Sh500 million for the university in Bomet but if the leaders fail to agree on the venue, the project  stall.
The leaders have not had any joint development meeting and instead do separate meetings with MPs on their own while the governor has always invited the MPs but they always do not attend.
The differences among leaders were the main factor that is likely to stagnate development in the county.