Uasin Gishu governor Jackson()Pictured above) Mandago’s second and last term has been soiled by ethnicity and discrimination in the wake of growing animosity among the two leaders.
Traders in Eldoret central business district, more particularly non-Kalenjins, have lamented hostilities directed towards them by county administration headed by Mandago. They told Weekly Citizen that it seems all executive departments are under firm instructions to frustrate them under th watch of Mandago who ought to be the custodian of all.
They decried the existence of a militia like outfit within the county enforcement department under the command of ex-OCPD Paul Rutto. Rutto is also the Governor’s security adviser. Traders said Rutto’s name elicits chilling memories of the infamous 2007/08 post election violence and cannot thus be trusted.
The traders are also skeptical of the existence of a team headed by Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno, lands CEC Nelson Maritim, trade CEC Emily Kogos and Paul Rutto. This is said to be the team that formulates, plans and executes the ill machination against the non-Kalenjin traders in the county.
The traders are most often arrested, beaten and their tools and merchandise of trade which include trolleys and handcarts confiscated and carted away. Sources claimed the impounded equipments are later sold to Kalenjin traders.
The militia group was initially engaged on casual basis but has dubiously been assimilated in the county enforcement department, thus impacting a huge wage bill on the county government.
Residents have raised the red flag as it has emerged that the militia group is violating the law of natural justice, biblical tenets and the constitution on the Bill of Rights. So dreaded is the Rutto-led militia outfit that the CBD is a no-go zone between 7pm and midnight as marauding members of the group patrol streets while armed with crude weapons.
They also use county vehicles and trucks, a pointer to misuse of public resources. Arrogance has become the second name of the group as they shamelessly tell non-Kalenjins to relocate to counties of their forefathers if they so wish. This has led to dwindling numbers of non-Kalenjin traders within the CBD.
The recently released national population census shows the county has close to 1.2 million people with over half a million registered voters. This ought to worry William Ruto who hails from the region and has declared interest in the presidency.
Actions of the county fathers impact negatively on the voters’ decisions. Proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative unveiled last week must watch keenly the events unfolding in the county in the event a referendum is held.
The traders are now calling on Mandago to stop crucifying them for his own personal interests. They have also appealed to Uhuru Kenyatta to act and save them from the ravaging excesses of the governor. They also want the police to use the information they have gathered over time, especially touching on hate speech by some leaders, to nail the culprits.