16 West Pokot county officials resign to pursue politics ahead of 2022 polls

West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo during a past press conference in Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph]

Close to 16 top county officials in West Pokot have resigned to pursue politics in the forthcoming general elections.

Six county executive committee members out of 10 have resigned, leaving Governor John Lonyangapuo with only four CECs to work with.

Most of the officials tendered their resignation letters to the county secretary, stating that they have decided to chart their own political pathway ahead of the 2022 elections.

Among those who resigned include County Executives Augustine Monges (Trade), Joel Arumonyang (Tourism), Francis Kitelauyan (Water), Luka Chepelion (Public Service Management), Emily Chepoghisyo (Lands) and Geoffrey Lipale (Agriculture).

Some former CECs interviewed by the Standard said they will be vying using other political parties other than the recently formed Kenya Union Party (KUP).

Lipale who is the KUP Chairman will be vying for the senate seat while others have opted to join other parties in their quest for political office.

Arumonyang and Monges have thrown their weight behind former West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, who has also resigned as Sports CAS to face off with Lonyangapuo.

Kitalauyan said he is vying for the Sigor seat, and he is yet to decide which party he will use during his campaigns.

“I was to vie using KUP, but it seems like its officials have already installed their own candidates, so there will be no nominations. The party has locked us out. We need to deliberate on the next move,” he said.

Monges said he decided to go for greener pastures and will be contesting for a senate seat under UDA.

 “I was committed to my work, and let’s wish each other good luck,” he said.

However, Lonyangapuo affirmed that their resignation won't paralyse his government's activities.

Lonyangapuo said those who resigned have weighed themselves and thought they are fit and daring enough to contest for any seat.

He said he will tell the public about the ones who have tendered their resignation to pave the way for a smooth hand-over and re-organize his cabinet so that no department is paralysed hindering the delivery of services to locals.

Lonyangapuo noted that it's a political season and politicians should desist from incitement and politics of violence and hatred.

"We will stand with those who have ideas like ours. People should copy our unity slogan and join our party," he said.

Lonyangapuo said some politicians have begun engaging in politics fully without spearheading the development agenda.