West Pokot Governor faults opponents after EACC grilling

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West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (right) and Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo (right) and Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang in a past function

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has blamed his political opponents for his recent EACC woes after he was questioned about the County’s deputy Governor. Lonyangapuo was grilled by the anti-graft body on Tuesday in Eldoret, after it emerged Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang spends most of the working time abroad.

The EACC officers alleged that Dr. Atudonyang has received his dues without rendering services and investigations are continuing.

The West Pokot Governor, when addressing residents at Makutano township in Kapenguria, issued a stern warning to his political opponents and alleged they’re fighting him over his development record in the County.

In particular, he name-checked former West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, who is currently the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Devolution Principal Secretary Micah Powon and former West Pokot Deputy Governor Titus Lotee who is currently the CEO for the National Government Affirmative Action Fund for engineering the members of Pokot Independent Leaders Forum (IPLF) lobby group led by Mr. Dennis Ruto Lopetakou who wrote a letter to EACC.

The County boss reiterated that EACC could have looked for evidence before calling him for grilling. Governor Lonyangapuo scoffed at a section of the media for reporting that he was arrested, saying the whole thing was dramatized by his political rivals from the County. He urged West Pokot residents to ignore the lies and propaganda and give him the time and space to work, “Those were lies propagated by those who are against the handshake spirit we had in the County,” he said.

He defended his Deputy, saying he sent him to the United States for two months to bring medical equipment, “The problem at Kapenguria hospital is not the lack of doctors but medical equipment, which are expensive. We lack cancer screening machines and we need Kshs 3 billion for equipment yet the County gets Kshs 5.5 billion from the national government,” he said, “He is coming with two trailer containers with medical equipment and laptops which have already arrived at the port in Mombasa and on Sunday I’ll go there to bring them.”

However, former West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin has dismissed Lonyangapuo’s claims, saying the people mentioned weren’t involved in the accusations fronted by Lonyangapuo. He said the Governor should stop shifting blame to others. He said as a resident of the County, he is concerned and that the Governor should answer questions from residents concerning Deputy Governor Atudonyang.