Transnzoia County, Kenya’s basket is home to a diverse population that have coexisted peaceful binded by farming but united by politics of development. Ahead of 2022, the county is among those set to have a new governor after Governor Patrick Khaemba’s two terms end.
The race is slowly shaping up and attracting key players eager to inherit the Agriculture rich county. Being home to Kenya’s late Vice president Michael kijana Wamalwa, the late Masinde Muliro, veteran politicians Noah Wekesa, Fred Gumo and Eugene Wamalwa among many others, Transnzoia is indeed home to political heavyweights that shape the political destiny of the country.
Khaemba who was elected on the embattled Ford Kenya Party has kept a low profile in his 2nd term, avoided politics and his own Party. This is said that because he used millions to get the Ford Kenya Party ticket and hence owes the Party nothing. His Development record has been subject of discussion from all quarters with many alluding that he has failed to develop the county and many projects have stalled.
According to insiders, Khaemba blames it all on his Ford kenya party that wanted to dictate everything for him including whom to employ, what projects to do and the kickbacks. According to him, he paid a hefty fee for being in Ford Kenya and is not interested in anything with the Party.
As we head into 2022, speculations were rife that Devolution and ASALs Cabinet Secretary Hon Eugene Wamalwa was set to vie for the coveted seat but his handlers have said that they want him positioned for National politics. With this in mind, the CS might have chosen to slowy endorse Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya to go for it. True to this, Natembeya for Governor narrative has picked and he is the man to beat for the seat.
Recently, during the launch of the Tree Planting exercise in kitale, stakeholders including business community, farmers and MCAs prevailed upon Eugene to hold Natembeya to make Transnzoia better even as he focuses on national politics. In response, CS Wamalwa said “Mambo bado, kwa Sasa tunachapa kazi ya mheshimiwa Raisi Kenyatta na ndugu yangu Natembeya lakini wakati wa siasa ikifika tukitembea na Natembeya iko shida? To which the crowd went wild and agreed with him.
Ever since that, Wamalwa who is also the party leader of Democratic Action Party (DAP-K)has been seen with Natembeya meeting key leaders including Governor Oparanya, luhya elders and professionals in a bid to position him. Many point this to a done deal and the vocal public administration officer is poised to take over Kenya’s basket county as a DAP Candidate.
Natembeya who is a son of Transnzoia has been on the limelight due to his administration leadership skills that have brought peace, unity and progress in the biggest Rift Valley region. Through this, he has earned support from across all tribes in Transnzoia who prefer someone that will continue keeping them together. With experience in public administration, he has it all to put structures, bring Development and attract investments to kitale.
As an individual, Natembeya is calm and humble like his political mentor Eugene Wamalwa with full of confidence and eloquence. This makes him an ideal candidate who can listen and act to the cries of people.
On the ground, Transnzoia people have a feeling Ford kenya party led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula took their resources and made the county not to develop. They therefore want someone with no association to Ford kenya with Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa Wakhungu facing strong resistance due to the party, his combative leadership skills that many feel will kill the existing Transnzoia harmony. This is visible in various MCAs of the party who have kept off anything to do with the Kiminini MP and have chosen to work with Natembeya.
By cutting across all tribes and ages, George Natembeya has won the votes and hearts of many Transnzoia people. With the strong adoration that people have for Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, they will rally it all for Natembeya to make Transnzoia County in safe hands. For now, Natembeya continues to walk and interact with locals as residents wait for February next year when he will resign and fully hit ground.