West Pokot county assembly has changed its county leadership after the ouster of two county assembly leaders of Kanu, the majority party in the assembly few days before the senate assembly made its changes . The assembly majority leader Thomas Kapelisiwa has been replaced by Weiwei MCA David Kapelisiwa while chief whip Maddy Polokou replaced by Endough ward representative Evanson Lomadunyi. This was after Kapelisiwa garnered 12 votes out of 14 and when they came to assembly for further communication the county assembly speaker rejected to communicate to the house. After the contest, 12 Kanu elected and nominated members of county assembly received show- cause letters from the national party leadership. A show-cause letter seen by the Weekly Citizen accused the MCAs of breaching the party constitution and code of conduct signed by Kanu’s secretary general Nick Salat. Last week, the assembly was adjourned after chaos, wrangles and misunderstandings erupted between members of county assembly loyal to Salat and those of Governor Lonyangapuo who has to take control of the party politics in the county when the speaker did not communicate changes procedurally but followed instructions from Salat and area senator Samuel Poghisyo.
At a press conference in the governor’s residence in Kapenguria, Governor Lonyangapuo accused Salat of meddling with MCAs affairs in the assembly which is tantamount to a section of county assembly members to frustrating and sabotaging the executive and smooth running of the county assembly. The county boss faulted Salat for meddling in the party’s West Pokot county affairs and asked them to keep off from the region and respect West Pokot county government comprising of the executive and the assembly. He accused them of trying to bring fights and differences to West Pokot Kanu leadership. Lonyangapuo dismissed allegations that he and his followers had left the party, adding that they are in Kanu to stay. The county boss who received the newly elected leaders majority leader and chief whip reiterated that the two leaders were ousted from their positions because they stopped speaking for government business in the assembly. The county boss said that the one who has been the majority is now the board member of the county assembly service board while the former chief whip given to chair a committee.
He said the two had started a rebellion, left the party and joined a suspicious group called the third force and cheated the top party leadership, yet they have not been in the party for long and they may be misleading Kanu national leaders in Nairobi. Newly elected Kapelsiwa said that as Kanu MCAs, they had all agreed to remove Ng’olesya as the majority leader for under-performing. Kapelisiwa also accused the speaker Catherine Mukenyang of failure to communicate the changes to the house as required per the standing orders and further accused her for reading a strange document to the floor of house for adjourning the house irregularly till June. “We are surprised that SG on the next day issued show-cause letters to the 12 MCAs and never gave it to the other two. The show- cause letters issued were baseless and seemed to be bringing division to West Pokot county. According to the county assembly standing orders, they are at liberty to do changes independently without party interference dictating them contrary to Salat letter,” he said. Kapelisiwa said the letters issued were confusing since it is dated April 4 while the changes were made on April 28, two weeks later. “The letter by Salat is unconstitutional and direct interference of the independence of county assembly.
We have reasons to make changes and we did it according to standing order 17 1- 6 as county assembly majority party. This is intimidation of political parties. It is negative productivity,” he added. Kapelisiwa vowed to stay put as the new majority leader and deliver as the majority leader and thanked Kanu MCAs for electing him. “After the first election, we took communication to the speaker but he became partisan and didn’t follow law and rejected and this ignorance of the standing orders and further revealed that she was partisan in order paper she was supposed to communicate to members about the changes but instead she read it as message instead of communication. In the case of the assembly, messages can only be received from governor, the senator, senate and the speaker of the assembly. We are life members of Kanu. The secretary general was an MP and hence he knows the rules and if he has forgotten by any chance, he should get a copy to remind himself. “It is important to note that the two ousted leaders spoke in the meeting before elections took place,” he stated. Efforts to reach the speaker, majority leader, chief whip, and Senator Poghisio were futile as their phones were switched off.