By Abednego Mwikya
Council of Governors chair and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has come out to dispell speculations that his cabinet reshuffles on Monday were informed by a fall-out between him and his Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima.
Addressing journalists, Oparanya said claims that himself and Kutima are not in speaking terms are baseless, adding that they have built a record of working harmoniously and supporting each other with a view to actualizing their campaign manifesto.
“The reshuffle followed an exhaustive consultation between my deputy and I.Suspicions, therefore that I executed the changes to kill his political dream are uncalled for and baseless,” said Oparanya.
The county chief on Monday plucked Kutima from the lucrative agriculture docket without reassigning him another department, citing increasing supervisory responsibilities that have now been left in the hands of the deputy governor.
“Following my added responsibilities at the national level, the deputy governor should shoulder more supervisory responsibilities than ever before. This can only be effected if he unloads some of his current duties like being a CEC,” added Oparanya.
The Monday reshuffle sparked speculations that the two top Kakamega county government officials are at loggerheads.
Oparanya’s tenure as governor ends next year when he will have served for two terms of five years as Kakamega governor. Kutima is widely believed to be interested in succeeding Mr Oparanya as the next governor of Kakamega County.
Other politicians who have already declared interest in Kakamega’s gubernatorial seat are Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and Lugari MP Ayubu Savula, both of whom are legslators from Amani National Congress. Mr Savula is the ANC Deputy Party Leader.
These candidates are chasing Governor Oparanya’s endorsement since he enjoys immense following in the region. Oparanya has, however, not endorsed any candidate so far.