Nandi’s Sang under pressure as election battle shapes up

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
Nandi County Governor Stephen Sang ata past function. Photo/PD/FILE

Wycliffe Kipsang

The battle to succeed besieged Nandi Governor Stephen Sang at next year’s General-Election played out at the weekend with the county boss clashing with other area leaders over management of affairs in the county.

Though a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, Sang has come under fire from local MPs and Senator Samson Cherargei, who accuse him for having little to show for the over Sh8 billion the devolved unit received in the last three years he has been in office.

The battle played out openly last week at Chemase in Tinderet constituency during the burial of Benjamin Tai, a prominent tea farmer, where Sang was on the receiving end for alleged slow and skewed implementation of development projects.

Mosop MP Vincent Tuwei, a vocal critic, of Sang’s administration criticised the county boss for having nothing to show for the time he has been at the helm.

“To say the truth, there are no projects that are completed and operational rather than stalled ones initiated in the previous regime at different construction levels,” said Tuwei.

Cherargei who has not been seeing eye-to-eye with the governor has claimed many stalled development projects in areas such as Tinderet, Mosop and Aldai sub-counties where he said feeder roads have been ignored and are impassable frustrating farmers in the region.

“My work is to oversight the county government and I must say that Governor Sang has failed to crack the whip on the corrupt county executives.

Instead, he has reappointed through the back door officials suspected to be linked to embezzlement of funds,” claimed Cherargei who is said to be eyeing the gubernatorial seat.

Cherargei has claimed that Sh170 million funds meant for roads were misused by alleged cartels through kickbacks and shoddy works.

Among the legislators who attended the burial ceremony included Cornelly Serem (Aldai), Julius Melly (Tinderet), Woman Representative Tecla Tum (Nandi) and the County Assembly Speaker Joshua Kiptoo.

The leaders railed accusations at Sang who also served as Nandi Senator between 2013 and 2017 before successfully succeeding Dr Cleophas Lagat as governor in 2017 General -Election.

Marginalised regions

Melly and Serem accused the county chief of allegedly leaving out marginalised regions of the county to benefit from the county emergency funds.

The MPs said despite the county assembly approving a Bill to address emergencies in landslide prone regions, the executive was yet to implement it.

“The county government should make their priorities right and focus to foster the agriculture sector,” said Melly.

He said that this is because the county is not well represented under the Council of Governors (CoG) on the privatisation of the State-owned millers as the governor has not been attending meetings to address farmers’ plight in the Lakes Region Economic Bloc (LREB).

Speaker Kiptoo has previously stated that the County Assembly has done its part by passing the annual budget and supplementary but the governor has failed to implement projects designed to boost the economic livelihood of the locals.

“The governor should be held responsible for failing to operationalize initiatives for the betterment of our beloved county,” said Kiptoo.

In a rejoinder however, Sang has dismissed the claims arguing that the leaders were only playing politics for selfish gains ahead of 2022.

Earlier in the week, a section of youth had also hit out at Sang accusing him of  abandoning the region which has suffered neglect in road and infrastructural development.

The governor has exonerated his administration from accusations of slow implementation of development projects and has instead shifted the blame to the National government saying it had failed county governments by delaying release of devolved funds.

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