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Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya reconciles with Deputy Philemona Kapkory

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya and his Deputy Philomena Kapkory have made up after a spell of lukewarm working relationship.

The closing in of ranks followed a four-hour meeting between the two senior politicians at the Governor’s office in Kitale on March 22.

The two have differed in public for the past six months leading to the Deputy county boss suggesting in public she cannot work at her Kitale office because “her life is in danger” as she was consistently harrased by junior officers.

The peace pact was brokered by the Senate Standing Committee on Devolution chaired by Siaya Senator Dr Oburu Odinga during the closed-door meeting aimed at reconciling the two.

Details of the deal remain sketchy.

Dr Oburu, together with Senators Richard Onyonka, Wafula Wakoli, Mohammed Chute, and George Mbugua held the close door meeting to iron out differences between the two County leaders also attended by Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi.

Earlier on there was confusion over the venue of the meeting as the Senate committee picked Aturkan Hotel before changing the venue to Rehema Guest House in Milimani.

However, a source told Nairobi News the venue was contested before it was agreed to have the meeting at the Governor’s office at the Town hall building.

The long-standing differences forced the Deputy governor to stay away from her office for close to six months after writing to Natembeya over threats to her life and intimidation by junior staff attached to the Governor’s office.

After her official complaint letter on October 4, 2023, Kapkory abandoned office after she claimed her boss declined to take action against the staff.

The frustrated deputy Governor later sought assistance from the County Assembly and Senate where she appeared to express her concerns before the Governor was summoned by the Senate and National Cohesion and Integration Commission NCIC about the fallout.

Differences between the two are said to have emanated from the Deputy Governor’s push to create Mt Elgon County, a move Natembeya reportedly had reservations about.

Back to the closed-door meeting, Dr Oburu told journalists the committee had negotiated for an amicable working relationship after the deputy governor expressed her willingness to work with the governor.

“We are happy to report that we had a fruitful meeting with the governor and his deputy. We appreciate the deputy governor has owned some of her mistakes and agreed to work with the governor,” said Oburu.

The Siaya Senator emphasised the need for two leaders to shun misunderstandings that derailed development in the County.

“We expect leaders to focus on service delivery and ensure food production in the country as this county is the country’s bread basket. We are grateful that our mission has borne fruits,” said Oburu.

Kapkory thanked the Senate for their reconciliatory mission. “Let me appreciate this committee for reconciling us. My focus will be service delivery to the people,” said Kapkory.

Natembeya also appeared to tone down in his speech, emphasising the need for service delivery.

“All is not lost because my deputy decided to stay away from office, but I appreciate the efforts by the Senate to check on the progress of devolution in counties,” said Natembeya.

The Senators, together with Oyagi, escorted Kapkory to her office, where she sought intervention from the committee on rising differences between the governors and their deputies.

“Things are not okay between governors and deputies. Something needs to be done in the roles of the deputy governors to ensure there is no noise from either side,” said Kapkory.

Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi assured the deputy Governor of her security.

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