Top Stories / Counties
Tuesday, 30 Aug 2016 14:59 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Campaigns for the Baringo governorship position has started in earnest, with a year still to go before the elections. Apparently feeling under siege, the incumbent, Benjamin Cheboi, has had to address his political opponents directly in a spate of two weeks.
Two aspirants have emrged as Cheboi’s foremost opponents: the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Eldama Ravine Executive Secretary Stanley Kiptis and Simon Chelugui, the director of National Gambling and Betting Board.
Last week, Cheboi asked those who are lining up to succeed him to show the people which projects they had initiated in the county. “If one feels that he can equally compete with me then he should be ready to line up all the projects they have done to better the lives of the people,” he said.
As it happens, his opponents have not been in power and thus have no advantage of the resources or institutional support he has to initiate projects. But they do have sharp tongues and have a lot to censure in the way Cheboi has led the county since 2013.
“The county government has been spending up to 30 percent of its resources on health but it has nothing much to show for the money when counties like Kakamega, Makueni and Machakos have acquired cancer and kidney screening theatres over the same period,” said Chelugui, who has repeatedly told voters of Baringo that the only solution to the county's development projects was a shakeup in the county government at the next elections.
Kiptis, who is a teacher, accuses Cheboi’s administration of embezzling funds earmarked for Early Childhood Education (ECD) by constructing only less than a half of the 336 planned ECD classrooms. "Where did all the money go?” Kiptis has asked.
Cheboi, on his part, says his opponents have not initiated any projects in the region and are only politicking. Addressing journalists after meeting a delegation of voters from Baringo North Sub-county in Kabarnet town last Sunday, Cheboi urged people residents to vote in leaders based on their actions but not how articulate they are in identifying problems.
The governor said aspiring candidates should give incumbent leaders time to deliver on their mandates and wait for the official campaign time to start politicking.