Nandi governor Cleophas Lagat ditches push for referendum

NANDI COUNTY: The governors’ Pesa Mashinani referendum push suffered a blow after Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat withdrew his support.

Dr Lagat, who about a month ago made a strong declaration backing the vote, said yesterday that MPs could press for more resources to counties by passing vital Bills.

His declaration came after intense pressure from leaders in Kapng’ombe in Mosop constituency, who demanded clarity regarding his stand.

“For now, we can say No to the referendum but we also want assurance from MPs and the Senate that they will jealously guard devolution in line with Article 96(1) of the Constitution,” said Lagat amid cheering from the crowd.


The governor also said residents of his county were in full support of the Jubilee administration. He added leaders should go slow and concentrate on development instead of politicking. He said politics ended after the 2013 March 4 elections.

Lagat was speaking at an interdenominational church fundraiser presided over by Faruk Kibet, an aide of Deputy President William Ruto, where leaders resolved to bury their political differences for the sake of unity.

Dismissing the referendum push, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said it was a CORD agenda, with Raila Odinga as the driver and Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto as the conductor.

“Raila has the bus to drive and is looking for governors to be touts,” he said.

Murkomen was accompanied by Nandi Senator Stephen Sang, Woman Rep Zipporah Kering and Mosop MP Kirwa Bitok.

Mr Sang said Nandi leaders had resolved to work in unity and foster development.

And Ms Kering said as legislators, they would respect and protect Lagat after he retreated from his original position.