Uasin Gishu spends Sh10 million to dress village elders

Uasin Gishu county has spent Sh10 million to dress the county's village elders in what it claims will make them more visible.

Elders from Soy and Moiben subcounties have received their khaki brown uniform.

Turbo, Kapseret, Kesses and Ainabkoi will receive theirs later.

Last week, 73 village elders from Karuna-Meibeki ward received their uniforms at Karandili and Kaplolo chief's offices.

The Standard established that the uniforms are being manufactured at the Eldoret based Rivatex factory.

Uasin Gishu county assembly Leader of Majority Josphat Lowoi said the money had been budgeted for.

“One uniform is expected to cost approximately Sh800 and meant for all elders in the county,” said Lowoi.

According to the county officials, the move is aimed at making the elders visible in the society as they perform their duties.

“The uniform is a symbol of authority and a form of identification. Our elders have continued to play a pivotal role in our societies and their concern has been that each time they arrest law breakers their clothes get torn and dirty," said Wilson Sawe, acting Chief Officer Devolution and Administration.

The uniforms have attracted mixed reaction among residents.

“The uniforms are a public relations exercise. They should have used the same money for meaningful development such as buying medicine," said resident Emmanuel Serem.

But Mary Chesang, a Moiben resident, lauded the move, saying the uniforms will give them more power.

“They should also be given identity cards. It is a good idea for the county because these are elders who are contributing immensely on security," she said.

In 2014, a Bill was floated in the Senate to recognise elders as public servants and entitled to a salary.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo initially sought to amend the National Government Co-ordination Bill so that elders can be recruited by the Public Service Board (PSB), but the document was rejected, with legislators arguing that the proposed law was unconstitutional.

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Uasin Gishu county assemblyJohn Lonyangapuo