The newly sworn in Bomet Governor Hillary Kipngeno Barchok has promised to deliver on the development road map rolled out by his predecessor Dr Joyce Laboso.
Dr Barchok, who was sworn in office on Thursday, told Bomet residents he will stick to the blue print on which they rode to office in the August, 8, 2017 General Election with Dr Laboso.
“I will not re-invent the wheel but will continue with the development agenda started by Dr Laboso. We must carry out her mandate of lifting the people’s living standards,” Dr Barchok said during the ceremony attended by attended by Deputy President William Ruto and a host of political leaders.
Dr Barchok said he will ensure that in the next three years, the County Intergraded Development Plan is delivered.
“The work she started would not be in vain. I will offer servant and consultative leadership across board, besides working with the national government to implement our development agenda and open new doors for investments,” said Dr Barchok.
Giving his inaugural speech after being sworn in by Kericho High Court Judge George Dullu at Bomet Green Stadium, Dr Barchok paid a glowing tribute to his former boss whom he described as “a mentor, a mother, a servant leader and teacher.”
“I will be forever indebted to you (Dr Laboso). You believed in me when I barely knew you. I will carry on with the servant and selfless leadership,” said Dr Barchok.
Dr Laboso died on July 29, at Nairobi hospital after a long fight with cancer of the colon.
He said his government will focus on economic driving engines as roads, water, education, health, environment, and agriculture.
“Adoption of sound economic policies, eradicating poverty through adoption of modern farming techniques especially embracing of Artificial Insemination (AI) services to improve dairy livestock and pasture development in a bid to raise milk production to 200 million litres a year and embracing value addition is our key economic pillar,” said Dr Barchok.
The county has 27 milk cooling plants managed by cooperative societies.
Recently, the county bought 50 motor cycles to be used by agricultural extension officers.
Much as tea is one of the key foreign exchange earners for the country, small scale growers continue to wallow in poverty due to poor prices for the fresh produce.
He noted that in the last two years, 700 kilometres of roads had been constructed.
“The county will ensure that the 250 bed capacity ultra-modern mother and child wellness centre which was a key flagship projects started by Dr Laboso is completed,” said Dr Barchok.
He stated that for the first time since 2013, the Auditor General had given a clean bill of health to the county on financial management due to prudent management of tax payers’ money.
Senator Christopher Langat and Bomet Central Member of Parliament Ronald Tonui led MPs and Members of the county assembly in declaring their support to the new governor.
The MPs including Bomet East MP Beatrice Kones, Mr Gideon Koskei (Chepalungu), Brighton Yegon (Konoin), Dominic Koskei (Sotik) said there would not be wrangles between the legislature and the county executive.
The MPs told Dr Barchok not to yield to political pressure to rush and nominate a deputy, but rather take time to reflect on the kind of an assistant he requires to discharge his mandate to the people.
“It is a matter of tradition that a newly married man can not immediately run looking for a second wife even before they settle in their matrimonial home and sire children,” said Mrs Kones.
Mr Koskei said when the decision to pick a deputy is finally made, it should go to a woman from Sotik in honour of Dr Laboso.
But Narok Governor Samwell Tunai speaking on behalf of the Council of Governor said it was only fair that a woman is picked to deputise Dr Barchok.
Bomet County Assembly Speaker Shadrack Rotich called on the new governor adhere to the law and the Constitution in running his government.