Governor George Natembeya reconciles with his Trans Nzoia Deputy Philemona Kapkory

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya and Deputy Governor Philomena Kapkory have reconciled after a period of strained collaboration, marked by public disagreements.

The coming together of the two leaders ensued from a lengthy four-hour discussion at the Governor’s office in Kitale on March 22nd.

For the past six months, Natembeya and Kapkory had been at odds publicly, with the Deputy expressing concerns about her safety at her Kitale office due to alleged harassment by junior officers.

The reconciliation was facilitated by the Senate Standing Committee on Devolution, led by Siaya Senator Dr. Oburu Odinga, in a closed-door meeting aimed at resolving their differences.

The specifics of the agreement reached remain undisclosed.

Dr. Oburu, alongside Senators Richard Onyonka, Wafula Wakoli, Mohammed Chute, and George Mbugua, convened the meeting to mediate between the two county leaders, also attended by Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi.

Initially, there was confusion over the meeting venue, with the Senate committee initially selecting Aturkan Hotel but later opting for Rehema Guest House in Milimani. Eventually, consensus was reached to hold the meeting at the Governor’s office in the Town Hall building.

The prolonged discord led the Deputy Governor to avoid her office for nearly six months after citing threats to her life and alleged intimidation by junior staff, despite her reaching out to Natembeya for action without success.

Following her official complaint on October 4, 2023, Kapkory ceased her office duties, seeking assistance from both the County Assembly and Senate, where she voiced her concerns, eventually leading to Natembeya being summoned by the Senate and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) regarding the fallout.

The rift between the two leaders reportedly stemmed from Kapkory’s advocacy for the creation of Mt Elgon County, a proposal that Natembeya purportedly opposed.

Reflecting on the closed-door meeting, Dr. Oburu informed the press that the committee had facilitated a mutually beneficial working relationship, with the Deputy Governor expressing her willingness to collaborate with the Governor.

“We are pleased to announce that our meeting with the Governor and his deputy was productive. We appreciate the Deputy Governor’s acknowledgment of her missteps and her commitment to working alongside the Governor,” stated Oburu.

He stressed the importance of leaders overcoming misunderstandings to prioritize development in the county, especially in crucial areas like agricultural production.

Kapkory expressed gratitude to the Senate committee for their reconciliatory efforts, affirming her dedication to serving the people effectively.

Natembeya adopted a conciliatory tone in his remarks, highlighting the imperative of service delivery despite the challenges faced.

Acknowledging the Senators’ efforts, Natembeya assured that despite his deputy’s absence from the office, progress would continue, while also acknowledging the Senate’s oversight role in monitoring devolution progress.

The Senators, accompanied by Oyagi, escorted Kapkory back to her office, where she sought the committee’s intervention in addressing the ongoing discord between governors and their deputies.

Kapkoru’s security was assured by Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi.