alexa George Natembeya now Rift Valley regional commissioner - Daily Nation

George Natembeya now Rift Valley regional commissioner

Friday June 21 2019

Narok County Commissioner George Natempeya

Narok County Commissioner George Natempeya addresses the press in his office on July 16, 2018. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE SAYAGIE
By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya is the new Rift Valley regional commissioner.

A letter signed by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho says Mr Natembeya will move to the regional headquarters following the promotion.

He will replace Mr Chimwaga Mwongo who will move to Nairobi in the same capacity.

Reached for comment by the Nation, Mr Natembeya said, "Yes, it's true ... I received a letter this morning (Friday) to assume duties of the regional commissioner."

STORM

Mr Natembeya's transfer caused a storm on social media, with the public supporting and condemning the move in equal measure.

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He has been in the limelight for initiating the eviction of illegal settlers from the politically emotive Maasai Mau Forest, which spreads to Narok, Bomet, Kericho and Narkuru counties..

In September 2018, the 47-year-old, born-again Christian suffered political barbs from Rift Valley leaders including Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

Mr Murkomen, the Senate Majority Leader, dismissed Mr Natembeya as “a small man who believes government programmes are not subject to provisions of the rule of law, human rights and dialogue".

But the county commissioner shot back, saying he was indeed “small” but in the sense of humility.

TOUGH TALK

In 2015, Mr Natembeya got into a crossfire with human rights bodies after ordering police to shoot and kill anyone found carrying illegal firearms in Isiolo.

This directive thrust the tough-talking administrator into the public limelight amid condemnation by human rights groups including the Independent Medico-Legal Unit, which urged the Director of Public Prosecution to probe him over the utterances.

Mr Natembeya also hit the headlines in November 2018 after ordering tests to establish whether schools girls in Narok were pregnant or had undergone female genital mutilation.

This resulted in furore among the public, with organisations such as the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) terming the order demeaning and in violation of rights.

Mr Natembeya defended himself, saying the move was aimed at identifying and prosecuting parents who force their daughters to undergo the cut, and facilitating the punishment of the men responsible.

In 2003, while he was a district officer in Mulot, Narok, he declared zero tolerance to female circumcision in area where residents held strong traditional beliefs about the outlawed practice.

Mr Natembeya has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of Nairobi.