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Awiti returns to office after months of temporary blindness

Thursday October 31 2019

Awiti returns to office

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti waves to his supporters, accompanied by Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, after returning to office on October 30, 2019 following months away for treatment of an eye condition. PHOTO | GEORGE ODIWUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE ODIWUOR
By GEORGE ODIWUOR
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Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti says he has regained his eyesight after several months of temporary blindness. 

Mr Awiti made the announcement on Wednesday, saying he could see and no longer needed the help of his aides.

"I lost my sight but God has given it back to me. I thank everyone who prayed for me," he said after returning to work following weeks of treatment of an eye condition.

Mr Awiti started losing his sight late in 2018 so he suspended some county activities to seek treatment in several hospitals abroad, in countries including Germany.

The county chief said at the time that he had had a cornea transplant.

CRITICS

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Governor Awiti was last in his office on August 29, when he witnessed the swearing-in of county municipal board members. Prior to this, he had been away for two months.

With Mr Awiti on medical leave, Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata and County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe took over.

Some local leaders, however, questioned the county chief's ability to run Homa Bay while others claimed Mr Orata and Mr Owiti could mislead him. Some defended him.

Upon his return to work, Governor Awiti told his supporters that his health had improved and that he would serve in full capacity. He said his doctor told him he was well enough to serve with vigour.

NO ATTACKS

Mr Awiti said in his speech that he would not issue statements that would antagonise any group.

"I don't want to attack anyone with statements that will cause conflict. I know I have been criticised by many people but what I know is that whoever is criticised is the one who works," he said.

He spoke after witnessing the swearing-in of Roads and Public Works executive Samuel Nyaoke.

The governor further told members of his cabinet to either deliver or resign.

"Some of you who go spilling what we talk about in our cabinet meetings to the world. These things are meant to end internally.  Whoever does not want to listen should resign," he said.

PROJECTS

Mr Awiti instructed county executives to ensure completion of projects.

"We want to consume flour produced in this county by December. This will happen if the trade department completes construction of the Kigoto maize mill," he stated.

The governor also directed Finance executive Nicholas Koriko to settle all pending bills and promised all contractors who completed their jobs that they would be paid. 

Mr Awiti later inspected construction of the Homa Bay Town market and said all projects would be finished on time.

They include construction of Nyakwere market in Rachuonyo North, Oyugis market in Rachuonyo South and the county stadium in Homa Bay Town.

The county government announced that it had received more funds from the African Development Bank to undertake other projects in Ndhiwa and Rangwe. 

"I want to leave a good legacy in Homa Bay. I ask for your support in fulfilling the promises I made during my campaigns," Mr Awiti said.