SECTIONS

George Natembeya resigns to focus on Trans Nzoia governorship bid

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya at the Rift Valley provincial. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has resigned to focus on his political bid.

Natembeya, who has served as Rift Valley Commissioner for two-and-a-half years, is seeking to unseat Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba in this year’s general election.

“I am letting go of this police uniform and duties. I won’t be seen in it unless under extraordinary circumstances,” he announced on Wednesday, January 12.

Natembeya says he will now take time to rest and prepare to woo Trans Nzoia residents ahead of the August 9 General Election.

“I will take all my experience in the National Government to the County Government and help the people of Trans Nzoia." 

Declaring his interest, the commissioner reminisced of his successes and challenges while in the security docket, noting that he leaves the larger Rift Valley region safer, owing to several security measures in place.

“Some of these measures look ridiculous, but on the ground, residents are appreciative,” Natembeya said.

He recalled how during his tenure he brokered peace in Narok between the Maasai and Kipsigis communities, and got rid of the illegal trade of firearms in Transmara and Emurua Dikirr areas.

He, however, noted that there are still challenges in some parts of the Rift, including Kerio Valley, Marakwet East, Baringo, and Tiaty West areas.

“The situation is not good. Some people want to create fights. There has been peace since 2017, but only recently tension has escalated.”

Hanging his boots, Natembeya urged residents in the affected areas to discourage the mentality they reportedly have against women leaders, saying leadership isn’t about one’s gender.

He says he enjoys the support of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Interior CS Fred Matiangi and his PS Karanja Kibicho.

His replacement is expected to be named later this week. 

Natembeya has served in the security docket for at least 25 years, since 1996.

The outgoing commissioner is, however, yet to identify with any political party, but a confidant told The Standard he is likely to contest on Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K), which is linked to Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa.