October 20th 2017

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West Pokot Governor Kachapin joins Jubilee, fearing onslaught from rival

Kachapin's intent to defect was announced just weeks after Deputy President William Ruto repeatedly visited West Pokot and urged local leaders to defect to Jubilee.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 05 Sep 2016 19:03 EAT

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin has announced his intention to defect to the Jubilee Coalition ahead of the next general elections. Govenor Kachapin, who was elected on a Kanu ticket, has left the former ruling party on fears that Senator John Lonyangapuo, his political mentor, could beat him to the party's ticket.

Kachapin and Lonyangapuo have been good political friends since the 2013 elections, but the senator's recent declaration of his interest in the governor's position has frayed their relationship. The senator has closer links with Kanu power-brokers including the party chairman Gideon Moi.

Kachapin's intent to defect was announced just weeks after Deputy President William Ruto repeatedly visited West Pokot and urged local leaders, most of whom were elected on Kanu tickets, to defect to Jubilee.

The two politicians' fallout has precipitated divisions among the entire elected leadership in West Pokot. While Lonyangapuo has a number of members of the county assembly (MCAs) on his side, the governor has nearly all the MPs and several MCAs backing him.

The women representative in the National Assembly Regina Nyeris, MPs Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria), David Pkosing (Pokot South) and Philip Rotino (Sigor) as well as a majority of the MCAs are on the governor's side.

Kachapin defended his defection to Jubilee by touting the number of national government projects in West Pokot. “The government has initiated many development projects in this region, and I want to work  to ensure that our region is not marginalized again,” said the governor, who claimed Lonyangapuo would like the region to remain opposition.

“It’s true many people admire the seat of governor, but give me time to deliver and I can assure you that my development record will propel me to capture it again in 2017,” he said.

Through rapid development, the governor said residents now have access to various development projects since devolution under the new constitution was introduced. He asked the residents to support his government for more services to be delivered to them.

Senator Lonyangapuo is not taking the governor’s promotion of the Jubilee manifesto lying down maintaining that the county is still a KANU zone, warning those who have joined Jubilee to expect defeat in the elections.

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