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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Lonyangapou causes stink in Pokot by coveting guv’s seat

Citizen Reporter  

Political leaders from West Pokot county have vowed to support West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin to run for another term come 2017 general elections and told those eyeing the seat to give the governor breathing space to complete development projects he has initiated.
The leaders at a meeting held at Chepareria attended by over 1,500 people agreed that Kachapin should fully be supported for another term saying he had proved to the Pokot community that he can deliver  development.
The group told Senator John Lonyangapou to stop politicising development projects started by Kachapin and instead join hands with him in developing the area which   has for long been marginalised.
“We want Prof Lonyangapou to work with Governor Kachapin and support his development projects,” the leaders said.
Led by Simon Adongole, Margaret Atudonyang and Rev John Lodinyo, they said that since Kachapin was elected, several development projects had been seen on the ground in the area.
The group said that they had already started campaigns in Sigor, Kacheliba, Kapenguria and Pokot North constituencies to drum up support for Kachapin and that they will ensure Kachapin is given another chance to lead the Pokots.
Two weeks ago, four MPs Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria), David Pkosing (Pokot South), Mark Lemalekol (Kacheliba) Philip Rotino  and women representative Regina Nyeris  told Senator Lonyangapou to hold his horses.
They accused Lonyangapou of politising development and told him that they will back Kachapin come 2017.
The leaders said that they have total confidence with the leadership of governor Kachapin and said he was the messiah of the Pokot community.
“We have lagged behind for long but the entry of Kachapin and devolution has done magic to the Pokot community,” Lomolokol said adding that it was immature and improper for Lonyangapou to try to derail them by introducing what they termed as “petty politics” which has no room in the current set-up of Pokot politics.
Senator Lonyanpaou has been quoted in the media attacking Kachapin.
Earlier, speaking during a budget and economic forum held in Kapenguria, Kachapin said his government has set aside more funds of its 2015/2016 budget for health and sanitation, roads infrastructure and education in an effort to uplift the region’s development to spur development.
He said more health facilities were being established in the semi arid county that requires personnel and facilities.
“We have heavily invested in health facilities in the past financial year which require more health personnel but we also want to achieve more in development in the next financial year,” he said.
Kachapin observed that devolved units is key to realising development which he noted to have lacked for the past 50 years and called for better coordination among government departments.
He revealed that the county administration was happy to be ranked among the best performing counties in a report by the World Bank and affirmed that they were determined to achieve more.
The former Ortum Principal said his administration will soon introduce electronic revenue collection systems to boost collections and tighten loopholes in a bid to increase local revenue collection.
Kachapin expressed his joy, saying the county met its target on revenue collection noting that it had scooped number one position in revenue collection in the country.
At another forum, dairy farmers from Tapach and Sina areas in Pokot South sub-county have a reason to smile after the county government purchased two milk cooling plants to boost milk production in the area.
Addressing residents outside his office after flagging off the machines, Kachapin said the project is aimed at improving dairy farming in the region.
He said the county government has spent Sh25 million to purchase five coolers and already three have been dispatched to the highland areas while two are still on transit.
“We want our farmers to produce more milk because they now have a place to preserve their milk before being transported to processing plant. The county government is committed to ensure dairy farming is promoted in this region,” said Kachapin.
The county chief pointed out that initially, the region had a few cooling plants and farmers were unable to deliver their milk to the plants since roads were impassable during rain seasons.
The five plants will be put strategically close to farmers to ensure they can store their milk well and reduce spoilage that had in past cost farmers millions of shillings.
He added that the county government is also in the process of rehabilitating roads and also opening up new ones in the region to ease accessibility to the markets.
“Many roads are being opened up now to ensure farmers can easily transport their milk to the plants. In some parts, farmers have been using donkeys to transport milk since the roads were impassable especially during rainy season,” he said.
The county boss urged farmers in the region to take advantage of the new milk coolers to produce more milk and improve their earnings.
He said the county government has employed extension officers to help farmers in the region as well as teach them on new methods of farming.
Sina Dairy Farmers Association chairman Samuel Lotim thanked the county government for providing them with the new milk coolers and urged farmers to produce more milk.
He called on the county government to support farmers through exchange programmes that will ensure farmers are well informed in the venture to boost productivity. At another meeting,  Pokot county government has warned traders against illegal packaging of potatoes as it is set to ensure the new packaging law is fully implemented.
County executive member for Agriculture Wilfred Longronyang said farmers in the region have been exploited by middlemen who flout the 50 kg packing law under Agricultural Food and Fisheries Act.
He said the county government will be conducting road operations to nab traders who defy the law meant to safeguard farmers from exploitation.
“We have set plans to arrest trucks ferrying potato bags weighing 200kg. This is against the law and the owners will be charged in court,” he said.
He hit out at middlemen for the continued exploitation of farmers adding that some few traders had failed to comply with the act.
Speaking at Tapach after touring a potato plantation, Longronyang urged farmers to embrace the new law that will save them from exploitation and bring sanity in the sector. The new potato law stipulates that persons found flouting it are liable for a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or a jail term of one year or both.