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Ruto woes far from over

19 May 2015, 12:18 Arap Yego

Bungoma - Former civic leaders from Mt Elgon Constituency in Bungoma County have faulted Deputy President, William Ruto for sidelining members of the Sabaot community in Jubilee government appointments.

Led by Former Mt Elgon County Council Chairman, Bismarck Bokose, the leaders claimed members of their ethnic group have been snubbed in the state appointments despite having overwhelmingly supported the coalition in the last polls.

Bokose said locals are unhappy with Ruto for not keeping the promise he gave to members of the Sabaot community that they will be given positions in the government.

“Before the last general elections, Ruto was in Cheptais for campaigns and he announced in broad daylight that a Sabaot will be in the Cabinet if they form the government. The locals are so disappointed that Ruto chose not to fulfill his pledge," he said.

“He has visited the constituency over two times since he became the deputy President and repeated the same thing, but we are shocked that no one from Mt Elgon was appointed even to head parastatal board,” he added.

Bokose pointed out that the subsequent government appointments have dashed the hopes members of his marginalised community had in the Jubilee government, because no local resident landed plum state appointments.

“We thought this time matters would be different for our community, which has never produced a cabinet minister since independence. But this regime, just like the previous ones, has chosen to take our support for granted. We are greatly disappointed," he said.

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Two former civic leaders, Ben Latebo and John Ambich, echoed Bokose’s sentiments and said the community members will reconsider their political affiliation with the Jubilee government if nothing is done.

Latebo observed that apart from former Mt Elgon MP, Fred Kapondi who was nominated as the Post Bank Board Chairman, the community has nobody else in the government.

“The missing out in plum government appointments has not augured well with the people of Mt Elgon. They are disgruntled that none of their sons and daughters was considered for the plum state appointments despite their overwhelming support for the coalition that went ahead to form the government,” said Latebo.

“We are hopeful that members of our Sabaot community will still get appointed to head state corporations and parastatals as a way of showing gratitude for our support, especially from the 50 percent share of the government appointments our brother William Ruto holds,” said Ambich.

They were speaking in Kimobo Secondary School Mombasa after a consultative leaders forum convened by area MP, John Serut. Over 300 people from across the constituency attended the meeting.  

Commenting on the same issue, the legislator noted that the community has always been the biggest loser in state government appointments as compared to other Kalenjin sub-groups.

“My people are not happy with Ruto who has been in this constituency several times and promised them that a section of them will get state appointments. He should honour his promise because all the Sabaots who have been appointed by the Jubilee government apart from Kapondi, hail from Trans-Nzoia County,” observed the legislator.

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