You're juvenile and petty, Sang tells Cherargei in bitter war over funds

Senator Samson Cherargei and Governor Stephen Sang are embroiled in a bitter war over county funds. [File, Standard]

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and Senator Samson Cherargei have once again re-ignited their political differences after their 2022 election truce.

The renewed clash has seen the two leaders exchange harsh letters over stalled projects and demands for accountability.

In a detailed letter dated July 24, Cherargei demanded that the county should furnish the Senate with the status reports of the flagship projects, which have been rendered white elephants despite consuming millions of taxpayer money.

“It is my role as a county senator to oversee the dispensation of the county services and legislation process. We demand the county government of Nandi to illustrate the development within 14 days including a number of payments done in Nandi County Creameries Project and Kapsabet County Referral Hospital Paediatric Wing,” he stated.

Renovation works

He sought details on the expansion of Chepterwai Nyayo Hospital, Kapsengere Dispensary Hospital, and Maraba Sub County Hospital, the upgrading of Kobujoi Health facility, and renovation works and expansion of Nandi Hills sub-county hospital.

The letter irked the governor who in a quick rejoinder accused the Senator of trading propaganda and being out of touch with the ground to the extent of not being aware of the reality in the community.

“The senator has been available whenever I'm answering issues raised by his colleagues in the Senate, but he seems to have knowledge about the county progress despite being the area MP,” he stated, terming senator Cherargei's demand as 'juvenile and petty'.

Sang said that the senator has failed in his mandate, failed to prosecute the issues before the Senate, he did not understand how he will get it right on his own.

“I also wish to invite you to take time off your busy schedule to move from one TV station to another, to come home and confirm first-hand the progress made in the reference people,” Sang wrote in his terse response.

He added, “You can also freely engage wananchi as you tour the projects to do that as a people representative you can speak from their perspectives instead of making unfounded, inaccurate, and misleading allegations.”

Sang and Cherargei, who are both Kapsabet Boys alumni, were human rights activists majorly based in Eldoret town before they successfully debuted in politics in their first attempt.

Mr Sang was elected as the first senator at the age of 27 in 2013, while Cherargei was 30 years old when he won his election in 2017. The duo was branded 'young Turks' since they were the youngest candidates that attracted a huge following among the youth.

They brought about political revolution, determination, and inspiration, as they mobilized the young generation of voters, and managed to dethrone political heavyweights.

In 2017, Mr Sang opted out of the senatorial race and successfully challenged the then governor Cleophas Lagat, former minister Henry Kosgei and Felix Koskei, the Statehouse Chief of Staff and head of the public service.

Successfully challenged

With the Senatorial race open, Cherargei joined the fray and easily defeated his opponents and managed to be the second Nandi county elected Senator.

Cherargei since joining Senate has been a critic of Sang's administration, accusing them to have failed to deliver its mandate to the residents of Nandi as expected.

He has raised concerns over the graft, incompetency among the county staff, and stalled projects that are grappling the economic development.

However, ahead of the 2022 elections, the duo closed ranks, setting aside their differences to face off with their common political enemies or competitors.

Cherargei and Sang had closed ranks as they faced off with Henry Kosgei’s sons – Alex and Allan, who were threatening to oust them from their positions.

Family affair

“Leadership is not a family affair, and we will not allow this to happen in Nandi. We have to fight and show them that the sons of peasants can also lead. Mr Sang would remain our Governor,” said Mr Cherargei, when sharing a podium at a political function with Sang at Kimondi.

The statement got Mr Sang in surprise as he didn't expect a sudden politic backup from his nemesis, with who he rarely shared a podium on many occasions.

Nine months later, Cherargei has now picked up the quarrel from where they left with the county CEO after raising a raft of issues, claiming there is nothing to show for over five years since Governor Sang assumed the office.

Geoffrey Kemboi, one of the local political analysts said that Sang and Cherargei are age mates and each wants to stump political authority and influence, they are ambitious to outdo one other.

“Any politician thrives in any crisis or political agitations. Cherargei is still young and knows that he must position himself to go for gubernatorial position, and the only way is to brush shoulders with Governor Sang to gain political relevance,” he opined.

Kemboi, a lecturer in a local university, stated that the current political discourse is health and helps to keep Governor Sang awake and deliver to the residents before he retired in 2027.