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Governor Sang denies arrest claims, police intensify search

Sunday June 9 2019

Nandi County Governor Stephen Sang

Nandi County Governor Stephen Sang supervises construction of a new cattle dip after tea plants were cleared at a four acre section of a farm he claimed to have been repossessed from Kibwari Tea Estate in Nandi Hills on June 8, 2019. His office has denied that he has been arrested. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BARNABAS BII
By BARNABAS BII
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The office of the Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has denied claims that the county chief has gone into hiding.

In a statement on Sunday, Director of Communications Gideon Cise denied that police were looking for the governor following the uprooting of tea bushes belonging to a multi-national tea company.

COOPERATE

Mr Cise said the county chief was willing to cooperate with investigators over the matter.

“As a law abiding citizen, he [Governor Sang] is willing to voluntarily present himself to the said authorities if and when called upon. And therefore the rumours going round that the Governor has been arrested are baseless and unfounded,” explained Mr Cise in a statement to newsrooms.

He, however, maintained the four acre disputed Kibwari tea estate was a public property.

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“As a county government, we established through survey maps and area lists that are available at both the Director of Survey offices in Nairobi and the Land Registry in Kapsabet that indeed the parcel belongs to Kaburet cattle dip, said Mr Cise.

CATTLE DIP

“There was a criminal attempt to alter the survey maps and annex the said cattle dip land to Kibwari tea estate that did not succeed,” added the official.

Detectives from Directorate of Criminal Investigations have intensified search for Governor Sang over destruction of tea bushes at a multi-national company associated with former Minister Henry Kosgey.

The detectives have camped the county for the last two days looking for the governor who has since gone underground after leading a team of county managers in destroying tea bushes worth millions of shillings at Kibwari Tea Company in Nandi-hills. The farm is owned by the Kosgey family.

UPROOTING TEA

County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti and regional police boss Thomas Ngeiywa said the search for the governor has been extended to neighbouring counties and towns. Local leaders link uprooting to the tea bushes to rivalry between Governor Sang and Mr Kosgey in control of Nandi politics.

Mr Kosgey a former Tindiret MP and Cabinet minister during the Moi and Kibaki era, has contested against governor Sang in two general elections-2013 for senator and 2017-gubernatorial and lost in both polls.

ABOVE THE LAW

“The administrator is not above the law and we determined to have him arrested and made to face the law for destruction of private property,” said Mr Kimiti.

Governor Sang led a team of county officials last Friday in repossessing four acres the tea plantation and commenced the construction of a community cattle dip, which he claimed, was demolished by Mr Kosgey in the 1990's after fraudulently acquiring the piece of land.

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