By Eastern Correspondent
Jonathan Lati Lelelit is the second Samburu county governor. Lelelit took the oath of office together with his deputy Gabriel Lenonyokie on 25th August 2022 at the Kenyatta stadium in Maralal town which was administered by Justice Hatari Waweru.
During his campaigns, Lelelit pledged to firmly deal with insecurity in Samburu county especially Samburu north by uniting the Samburu and Turkana communities. He said that his administration will establish a county peace department and a county peace committee which will be responsible for bringing cohesion among communities living in Samburu.
“To help achieve lasting peace I will also set up a multi-ethnic community rangers camp which will help curb perennial cattle rustling which often leaves death and destruction.” He said.
The new governor who won on a UDA ticket also promised to improve food security through increasing seed distribution and subsidized farm machinery to enhance food production in Samburu west Sub County which is the bread basket of the vast county. At the same time, Lelelit said that he will distribute drought-resistant cattle breeds in Samburu East and Samburu north.
He also pledged to tackle perennial water shortages in both urban and rural populations through improved water harvesting, repairing and maintaining existing boreholes, and drilling new boreholes.
On health, the governor said that his administration will equip hospitals and health centers with adequate medical supplies and establish a functioning countywide ambulance service and also ensure that health departments will be headed by teams of medical professionals.
“My county Executive member for health and the Chief Officer for health will be medical professionals to ensure the health department runs smoothly.” He said.
At the same time, Lelelit assured Samburu residents that his administration will work with county ministers and chief officers in all areas recruited in the most transparent manner.
“The recruitment process was free, fair, and merit-based. It is an all-inclusive government with all the communities in Samburu county represented,” he said.
Lelelit also pledged to restructure the county bursary distribution system by establishing village bursary committees and devolving bursary bank accounts in the 15 wards.
“We also plan to build ECD centers in areas that are not currently covered, our ECD program will seek to adequately staff and equip with the required learning materials.” He added.
He added that in order to alleviate poverty and unemployment, his administration will establish a county youth and women fund to enable youth and women to access low-cost loans.
However, it will not be rosy for Lelelit since he has inherited a county that is debt-ridden and has a huge wage bill. The latest report by the Controller of Budget (COB) Margaret Nyakang’o shows that Samburu county is increasingly spending more of its allocation on salaries, wages, allowances, and other employee benefits.
The report released recently shows that the amount the previous administration spent on salaries and other personal emoluments was almost thrice what was spent on development in the first nine months of the 2021/2022 financial year.
“Samburu spent Sh1.7 billion on recurrent expenditure in that period while using only Sh 604.05 million for development programs.” The report said.
Lelelit made a comeback after he was trounced as Samburu west MP by Naisula Lesuuda in 2017.
He won the August 9 elections on a UDA ticket beating his main rival former Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr Richard Lesiyambe of Jubilee to take over from Moses Lenolkulal who finished his two constitutional terms.
Samburu West MP Josephine Naisula Lesuuda was re-elected for a second term on a KANU ticket on August 9. Lesuuda was the only woman vying for the legislature seat in a male-dominated line-up.
After clinching the seat, the former news anchor said she will continue with her campaign slogan ‘kazi iongee’
She said that she will ensure 5,438 needy households in her constituency are enrolled in NHIF to ensure they get affordable and quality healthcare. The MP said that she will ensure that a Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) is established in Maralal town so that local students can study medicine in the county which will be economic for parents.
“I have already secured land in Maralal town and the National Land Commission has issued us with a title deed. I can also confirm that treasury has already released money for construction to the KMTC account and works will begin very soon.” She said.
Lesuuda added that she will ensure the completion of Samburu west Technical Training Institute (TTI) which has stalled for over six years. She said that Samburu west NGCDF has already released Sh 10 million which is needed to carry out finishing works on the building, after completion, the government will equip the institute and locals will have a chance to study technical courses.
Other areas she pledged to work for her constituents are the affirmative action fund, distribution of wheelchairs and prosthetic legs to the physically disabled, and distribution of bursaries. Samburu East Member of Parliament Jackson Lentoijoni was also re-elected on a KANU ticket in the just concluded elections.
Lentoijoni has pledged to continue with his legacy of improving access to education for residents of Samburu East. The former high school teacher has gone on record for constructing/establishing several schools, equipping laboratories, and dormitories. The MP said that one of his main focuses will be on the Lchekuti night classes where Moran’s go for night studies after grazing cattle all day.
Eli Letipila of UDA is the new Samburu north MP after he floored Alloys Lentoimaga who serves for ten years. The youthful MP pledged to bring lasting peace in the troubled north by uniting the Samburu and Turkana communities which are in constant conflict over water and pasture and perennial cattle rustling.
Letipila said that he will work closely with the county government and the national government through the office of the county commissioner to unite Samburu north. Letipila said that he will continue hosting peace sports tournaments for the Samburu and Turkana youths in a bid to stop cattle rustling.