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Turkana leaders criticise Ruto's visit, accuse him of forcing leaders on locals

By Michael Ollinga | January 30th 2017
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok claimed that DPO William Ruto bypassed the county leadership in planning his tour. 

Turkana County leadership has expressed fury over Deputy President William Ruto's two-day visit in the area saying he failed to address the real demands of the locals and instead turned to discredit the ‘otherwise excellent devolution progress.’

In a press statement, Governor Josphat Nanok claimed that Ruto bypassed the county leadership in planning his tour which was meant to urge more citizens to register as voters but turned out to be a Jubilee Party campaign rally.

“It cannot go unnoticed that the DP who overlooked the intergovernmental framework of coordination and consultation between the two levels of government kept Turkana County Government in the dark on his visitation, and utilised every opportunity to address the public to launch scathing attacks on my leadership,” stated Nanok.

The governor termed Ruto's visit a political campaign to lure the locals to support Jubilee party, which he said had failed to prioritise the needs of the locals, saying the DP even falsely took credit of some county government projects to defend the ruling coalition's track record.

He pointed out that the DP's itinerary included visits to county funded health and water projects but without the courtesy of informing or inviting the host government.

“His unwarranted attack on my leadership is malicious and aimed at installing weaker leaders to our people whom he can easily manipulate and comfortably plunder our resources. He failed to give a satisfactory answer on the pertinent question of division of oil benefits through the proposed amendment of the Petroleum Bill 2016,” added Nanok.

Grid power line

The statement further stated Ruto was an elected leader in previous regimes for 15 years “who together with others enhanced marginalisation of the oil-rich county and only expresses interest after the precious discoveries.”

"Ruto's roadside declarations on projects like the pledge to establish a grid power line for the people of Lokichar are illusions, four years and counting and nothing has been done yet more promises are made on the election year," he said.

The governor, elected on ODM ticket defended his track record saying the county had constructed 200 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centres and subsequently employed 300 teachers besides donating 200 others to secondary and primary schools.

"We have drilled 150 boreholes and established at least two dams in every ward, rejuvenated the Napuu irrigation scheme at the aquifer, Nakwamoru irrigation scheme and Lomidat dam, upgraded 50 boreholes in high yielding areas to be solar powered thereby getting 250 hectares of land under crop production benefitting 5,000 people but the DP has chosen not to commend these developments," he added.

He pointed out at the upgrading of the Turkana District Hospital to a County Referral Hospital as the County's flagship project besides upgrading of over 30 dispensaries to Health Centres, construction of 90 new dispensaries and upgrading other 30 dispensaries.

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