West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has resurfaced after missing in action for three weeks.
He was pictured this afternoon in the company of Deputy President William Ruto, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa, and Kericho Senator Aaron Veruiyot, at home in West Pokot.
“Paid a courtesy call to Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo; discussed development issues touching on West Pokot County,” said the DP.
Leaders in the county had raised concerns about Lonyangapuo’s health after his longer-than-usual absence. The absence was accentuated by the fact that Lonyangapuo’s Dr Nicholas Atudonyang reportedly lives in Texas, U.S.
“The family should communicate. This is a public figure and the county has closed down,” Samuel Poghisio, the county Senator had told the Nation.
Lonyangapuo’s phone was also said to be off.
County Chief of Staff Elijah Kapelo had however allayed any fears, saying that the governor was on leave. “The governor went for Christmas holiday and some bit of annual leave.”
The last time Lonyangapuo addressed the media was on December 16. He was in Tapach ward, distributing dairy cows to residents.
“Locals are wondering who is now in charge of the county in an acting capacity,” said Local politician Dennis Kapchok, aka Mulmulwas. “The county government should issue an official position on the governor.”
It is not clear whether DP Ruto’s patronage is a sign of shifting political allegiance by the Governor, elected in 2017 on a Kanu ticket. Kanu is the party of Ruto’s political nemesis Gideon Moi.
“Leaders must walk together and reject the politics of tribe. Instead of competing on the basis of hatred and division, they should adopt the politics of issues, ideologies and development track-record that will in the long-run empower ordinary Kenyans,” said DP Ruto.