On taking the oath of office, Baringo County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat cited security as being at the top of his agenda.
He promised to improve security in the county.
Insecurity has plagued the region for decades and impacted negatively on development.
“On security, we will endeavour to come up with policies and programmes that will help us eliminate cattle rustling, which has claimed many innocent lives and the property of our people,” said Mr Kiplagat, who has been a practising lawyer for more than 20 years.
“The perennial insecurity menace must come to an end. My wish is to unite all the ward representatives from the various communities in this county in a bid to end rampant cattle rustling and banditry attacks. This is a new dawn for the people of Baringo. I urge all elected leaders to unite in taking our county to greater heights,” he added.
In his inaugural speech, Mr Kiplagat promised to make sure the assembly becomes the best in the country and emphasised the importance of cohesion among MCAs.
“My prayer is that peace prevails in troubled areas in Baringo County. That can only be achieved if all the leaders have the will to end the perennial menace. I also promise to meet the expectations of the people in this region through adherence to the Constitution,” he added.
Mr Kiplagat unsuccessfully vied for the Baringo Central parliamentary seat but won the Speaker’s position after garnering 33 votes against his closest rival Fridah Lotuiya’s 11. Ms Lotuiya is from the minority Endorois community.
Mr Kiplagat, 49, became the darling of Baringo Central constituents when he trounced incumbent MP Sammy Mwaita in the Jubilee primaries.
The residents wanted to vote out Mr Mwaita, who had served for two terms, as they were yearning for change.
In the primaries, Mr Mwaita, a former commissioner of lands, lost to the Nairobi-based lawyer. Mr Kiplagat got 12,341 votes against the MP’s 5,448.
However, many were surprised when the lawyer, who had been nicknamed Bwana Dawa by his supporters, was beaten by Maendeleo Chap Chap candidate Joshua Kandie in the race for the parliamentary seat on August 8.
Mr Kandie garnered 15,171 votes while Mr Kiplagat, who emerged second, had 14,030. Mr Eddy Koimett of Kanu got 2,491 votes.
Bwana Dawa came to the limelight again when he was elected the Speaker of the Baringo County Assembly. He defeated 10 other candidates.
Soon after he was sworn in, the Speaker urged the MCAs to start serving the people, saying the time for celebrations was over.
“The celebrations are now behind us. Let us put the interests of our people first so as to make sure that our county emerges the best,” he added.
Mr Kiplagat took over from Mr William Kamket, who was elected Tiaty MP on a Kanu ticket.
Minority communities in Baringo County are, however, the biggest losers. They lost all the key posts, including that of Speaker. They were hopeful of at least clinching the Speaker’s position but it was won by the populous Tugen.
Mr Kamket regretted that the Speaker’s seat did not go to somebody from a minority community.
“It would have been fair for the Speaker’s position to go to a minority community for regional balance to be achieved. Other communities should be considered for other key positions in this county,” said Mr Kamket.