Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has told Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi not to drag him into his political woes following protests over a piece of land belonging to a stalled technical training institute in Ngeria.
Two different demonstrations have been staged with one, which took place on Tuesday, accusing Mr Sudi of grabbing a piece of public land.
Another counter demonstration was staged on Thursday by the legislator’s supporters.
Residents of Ngeria, led by Mr Bernard Kipkemboi, on Monday put the lawmaker on task, asking him to clarify why the proposed instituted had stalled and the reason why he is ploughing part of the 135 acres belonging to the institution.
“What is perplexing us is how Soy and Kesses TTIs and others are being built by the national and county governments but ours here has stalled. Whenever we see our patron (Mr Sudi) around, he comes to inspect the cultivated farm,” said Mr. Too.
While the splinter group which took to the road yesterday exonerated the lawmaker claiming that he is being fought politically by his nemesis.
Led Hosea Tabut, a retired chief of Megun Location, the residents said the lawmaker has been instrumental in the construction of the facility but a court case stalled it.
“Mheshimiwa is someone who loves development and he has played a vital role in ensuring that this institution is completed so that our children can be admitted to it but this small parcel of 135 acres which is being ploughed should not be the centre of fighting him politically,” said Mr Tabut.
The construction of Ngeria TTI is being supervised by Rift Valley Technical Training institute which took the contractor to court for using substandard building materials.
The two latest incidents have complicated the relationship between Governor Mandago and the Kapseret MP, with Mr Sudi accusing the county boss of being the cause of his political woes.
“The Tuesday demonstration was well-orchestrated by governor’s proxies and it is clear that he is fighting me for always questioning how public funds are being used,” Mr Sudi told the Nation by phone.
The MP is an ardent defender of Deputy President William Ruto.
But in a quick response, the governor’s office rubbished Mr Sudi’s claims, telling the MP to desist from using Mr Mandago as a scapegoat whenever his constituents question his development agenda.
The governor’s Director of Communications Silas Tarus told the Nation that the county chief has no business fighting any lawmaker.
“(Mr) Sudi should stop dragging the governor into his political sideshows because Mr Mandago will never fight any leader,” said Mr Tarus.
“When those who elected Sudi ask him to show them what he has done since 2013, how the governor does come in?” he posed.
The push and pull between the two leaders begun when Mr Sudi questioned the motive behind the planned purchase of a National Bank of Kenya (NBK) building for office space at Sh568 million.
“Instead of buying that particular building at over Sh500 million, the county should use even Sh100 million to construct a new one,” the lawmaker said in an earlier interview.
The county government Thursday disclosed that it has not paid any money for the building and that there is no cause for alarm.
But Members of the county assembly questioned the plan after it emerged that the initial cost of Sh568 million could have been inflated.
Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar, in a petition, wants the Senate to establish whether other options for office space were explored and if procurement laws were adhered to.
“Given the alternatives available to the county government for office space, it is clear that no feasibility study was carried out and further that there is no evidence of competitive sourcing/bidding which would have involved a bid for purchase by the county government, but instead, there was only a single offer which casts doubts concerning how the offer was arrived at,” reads the petition.