You have sidelined us, Sabaot leaders tell Jubilee government
02 October 2014, 23:30
Bungoma - Leaders from the Sabaot community in both Bungoma and Trans- Nzoia Counties have expressed their displeasure with the Jubilee government, for what they claim is sidelining of the group in plum government appointments.
The leaders from the community led by Bungoma Deputy Governor Hillary Chongwony and former Kitale Mayor Pius Arap Kauka, claimed members of their community have been sidelined in government appointments, despite the community having overwhelmingly supported the coalition in the last polls.
Speaking to separately to journalists separately, the two leaders said they are shocked that no member of the Sabaot community was appointed an ambassador in the recent government changes, after they missed out on previous cabinet secretary and principal secretary posts.
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Chongwony said the snubbing of Sabaots in the lucrative government appointments has not augured well with the members of the community, who have been sidelined by previous regimes over the years.
He added that the nominations have dashed the hopes of members of his marginalized Sabaot community had in the Jubilee government.
"We thought this time matters would be different for our community, which has never produced a cabinet minister, principal secretary or an ambassador since independence. But these regime, just like the previous one's has chosen to take our support for granted. Our people are greatly disappointed," said the deputy governor, who also pointed out that President Uhuru Kenyatta has not visited Mt Elgon, despite touring western Kenya several times.
Kauka pointed out that Sabaots in Mt Elgon, Endebess and Saboti constituencies voted overwhelmingly for the Jubilee coalition and it is unfair if they were sidestepped by the jubilee government, yet they have an enough pool of professionals that could have merited to be appointed to government.
"Mt Elgon was the only constituency in Bungoma County and Western Kenya that Uhuru Kenyatta won in the polls, and Endebess in Trans-Nzoia was the only constituency in the county that elected a URP Member of Parliament. We are shocked that we that no member from the community was remembered by the government," explained Kauka, who divulged that they will soon meet to as leaders and reconsider their political direction as a community if nothing is done.
Evans Kiprotich , a Nairobi based businessman who contested for the Mt Elgon parliamentary seat however differed with the two leaders, and observed that all is still not lost for the community.
He opined that there are still other lucrative positions in the government that can be given to the Sabaot, and members of the group should be patient as the government is still re-organizing itself.
" I agree the community has never produced a minister, permanent secretaries, and ambassadors. But we have never had parastatal heads from the community and the slots are still not taken. We hope the government, with the blessings of our brother William Ruto, who understands our plight better, ensures we get special consideration in subsequent appointments," said Mr Kiprotich.
Members of the Sabaot community have a sentimental attachment to the Uhuru Kenyatta presidency, as they claim he first endorsed for the seat by former President Moi in the area, at Kapsokwony 2002.
The resounding victory the Jubilee team got from the constituencies inhabited by members of the community was a testament to the connection the people have with Uhuru Kenyatta, and his win had elicited hope among the residents that the president will 'remember' where his journey began.
Former President Moi first named Uhuru Kenyatta as his preferred successor in Mt Elgon in July 2002, during a fundraising organized by professionals from the community for the Kapsokwony District Hospital.
The retired president reportedly defended his declaration in the harambee, by saying it was his democratic right.
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