The Kericho governor has defended himself in an a sworn affidavit filed in court against allegations ofmisuse of public funds, nepotism, impregnating campus girls and having a love affair with his female deputy.
Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony is embroiled in a court battle with his MCA,Paul Kibiegon Chirchir ‘Tarimbo’ of Kapsoit Ward, with the accusations.
The MCA is accusing the county boss of hiring his girlfriend, in-laws and cousins illegally.
But in his replying affidavit, Prof Chepkwony has denied the allegations, but kept mum on claims touching on his alleged affair with his deputy governor, Susan Kikwai.
Chirchir alleges that Chepkwony, a 48-year-old professor of chemistry, had a fling with his deputy. This, according to the MCA, almost cost the governor his political seat following attempts to impeach him during his first term.
Kikwai is the daughter of the one-time Member of Parliamnet of Kipkelion, Wiliam Kikwai, who has now retired to his ancestral home in Ainamoi Constituency. That happens to be the constituency that Governor Chepkwony also hails from. She is also a former director of the Kenya Investment Authority.
Chepkwony, a former university lecturer, denied the allegations and termed the accusations as malicious allegations meant to tarnish his name. He has also been accused of misusing millions of shillings meant for a compensation case, accusations he has also denied.
Chepkwony argues in his court papers that Chirchir used not only social media but also alternative press in linking him to reports un-procedural legal fee payments amounting to Sh100 million for a compensation case against the British government for historical injustices against the Kipsigis and Talai communities.
The compensation case was one of Chepkwony’s flagship re-election campaign promises for his second term, according to Chirchir.
But the lawyer contracted to handle it told the County Assembly that it had not been filed as the best option was an out of court settlement and that “the County Assembly was further informed that the visits made by the lawyers dealing with the intended case have been to the office of Karim Khan QC as a case had not been filed in court.”
The case, Chirchir claims, is open-ended and has no timelines of when it will be filing or negotiations.
Chirchir further accuses Chepkwony of hiring his in-laws after splitting the health docket in two, besides hiring two other women without approval of the County Assembly after splitting the department of agriculture into two.
In his replying affidavit, the governor seeks a retraction of the allegations by the MCA. He is also demanding an apology over the same.
Chepkwony, fondly known as ‘Timbilwet’ by the locals, however, downplayed the allegations of love affair with his deputy and female students during his time as lecturer at Moi University.
Chirchir alleges that Chepkwony impregnated and dumped a student, but later settled the matter out of court when he was sued at the Kericho Children’s Court. The MCA cites case number 35 of 2014 to back his claims.
In his response dated June 12, the governor accuses the MCA of portraying him as criminal, unaccountable to residents, one who has neither integrity nor regard to the law or procedures for public appointments.
Chepkwony’s affidavit partly states that: “The contents by the defendant have caused grave damage, distress and embarrassment among (his) family, peers and community at large, damage which is irreparable.”
But the MCA has prayed to the court to dismiss the governor’s suit terming it “unconstitutionality” since Chirchir claims the governor had sued him before by proxy at the Kericho High Court in a case which he claims was withdrawn before conclusion.
“Without prejudice to the foregoing, the defendant contends that the plaintiff's suit is fictitious, scandalous, misconceived and farfetched and the defendant shall at the earliest opportune time seek to have the same struck out and/or dismissed. Notice whereof is hereby given" reads part of Chirchir’s sworn affidavit which also adds that “the court has no jurisdiction to grant the prayers sought the same being egregious and inimical."