16 West Pokot County officials are stepping down to pursue politics ahead of the 2022 election

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

Nearly 16 senior county officials in West Pokot have resigned to pursue politics in the upcoming general election.

Six out of 10 members of the County Executive Committee have resigned, leaving Governor John Lonyangapuo with only four CECs to work with.

Most officials submitted their letters of resignation to the district secretary, stating that they have decided to pursue their own political path ahead of the 2022 election.

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

Some former CECs interviewed by the Standard said they competed with political parties other than the recently formed Kenya Union Party (KUP).

Lipale, who is the KUP leader, will fight for the Senate seat while others have chosen to join other parties in their quest for political office.

Arumonyang and Monges have lined up behind former West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, who has also stepped down as Sport CAS, to face Lonyangapuo.

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

“I was supposed to compete with KUP, but it seems its officials have already put in their own candidates, so there will be no nominations. The party locked us out. We have to think about the next step,” he said.

Monges said he has opted for greener pastures and will fight for a Senate seat under UDA.

“I’m committed to my work and we wish each other the best of luck,” he said.

However, Lonyangapuo reiterated that her resignation will not paralyze his government’s activities.

Lonyangapuo said those who resigned weighed in, thinking they were fit and brave enough to fight for every seat.

He said he will tell the public about those who have tendered their resignations to pave the way for a smooth handover and to reorganize his cabinet so as not to cripple a department that impedes the delivery of services to local people.

Lonyangapuo noted that it is a political season and politicians should refrain from incitement and politics of violence and hatred.

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

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

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