By Martin Masinde
Insecurity characterized by Small Arms and Light Weapons and armed violence is a defining feature of life in West Pokot County. West Pokot County has not known peace since the advent of colonialism.
The issue of insecurity in West Pokot County requires a pragmatic approach in a bid to resolve the issue once and for all. This is the key priority agenda for the incoming Governor Simon Kachapin. Mr Kachapin understands the scenario all too well since he was the first Governor of the West Pokot County. His approach is two-pronged.
Firstly his approach is going to be different from that of other leaders. Mr Kachapin plans to take over development from where he stopped in 2017. He had already initiated development projects in the areas of infrastructure, schools, healthcare and tertiary education.
“I intend to bring development in the area of West Pokot because these people have never seen development. I intend to settle them so that normalcy can be achieved. Without development, the people will remain impoverished and the scramble for resources will always fuel the violence.”
He faulted the current leadership of the county for failing in the mandate of bringing meaningful development despite being allocated billions of shillings by the Exchequer.
The second approach and most important is to bring all the leaders together and chart the way forward. Mr Kachapin said, “The issue of insecurity ought to be addressed with all leaders having been brought on the table. Because of the spill over effect of the insecurity from the neighbouring Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet, I intend to have a sober discussion with leaders so that we can resolve this issue once and for all.”
Mr Kachapin was also quick to commend the National Government’s efforts to curb insecurity but he opines that more needs to be done. “Whilst the National Government’s effort is substantial, I think a lot should be done with the magnanimous budgetary allocation the interior docket is allocated in the National Budget. The Government has the capability and manpower to accord residents security as enshrined in the Constitution.”
In his quest for another term, Mr Kachapin is confident that he will send home the incumbent John Krop Lonyangapuo very early in the morning with a very wide margin. “I challenge the incumbent to show what he has done for the people of West Pokot since taking the mantle of leadership. Most of his projects to build schools have stalled since 2018 due to rampant corruption in his administration.”
Mr Kachapin further accused the incumbent of hoodwinking the people of West Pokot by giving them cows which they already have in plenty. He said, “Why should you give cows to people who already have them in plenty. This is not the priority at the moment because they are not even the improved breeds. These are cheap cows sourced from Maasailand used to divert attention of our people.”
His other pertinent agenda is community involvement in a bid to understand the best approach to solve our people’s problems. “The Constitution envisages public participation in every aspect of development agenda. We need to understand the people’s needs and chart the best way forward because majority of West Pokot people are good and peace-loving Kenyans. Only a small percentage form the criminal elements who need to be nipped in the bud.” Mr Kachapin added.
During his first tenure in office, Mr Kachapin achieved alot in terms of developing the county. Firstly, his track record is evident for all to see. He opened up roads, built schools, hospitals and in fact, the little known only university in the County and several Technical Training Colleges and Teacher’s college.
Given the mandate, he is ready to pick up from where he left in 2017.