The case of Chepalungu constituency that has existed since 1966 but has no tangible development shows that electorate does not know the role of the leaders they are electing in every elective season.
It means that, leaders don’t serve; they are served, because leadership positions make leaders superior and unaccountable to the people they lead.
Chepalungu is one of the oldest electoral boundaries established immediately after the Independence, most of its Members of National Assembly were privileged to be Cabinet Ministers. If you are far and hear of it, you would think it is a heaven on earth but visit and see.
Mention of any great leader from Bomet in either private or government organization, they hail from Chepalungu but if you would pay a visit, you would greet them with laughter.
The County’s largest constituency with an approximate area of 490 kilometres square, has nothing to pride in. It has no luxurious hotel; no bank; no industry; no factory; no university; no college; no good hospital; no tarmac roads not even a short tarmacked street in its major towns: Chebunyo; Sigor and Siongiroi.
Try arguing with residents of this constituency, they know everything except how to choose right leaders. They sell out votes to moneyed politicians who speak loud on radio stations and participate in local harambees in spite having no public funds management experience at expense of technocrats who would lobby for establishment of key infrastructural projects essential for economic growth.
Besides conspicuous appreciable disparity in personalities and development, the constituency has seen twelve political terms but nothing to show across its fifteen (15) locations, forty-two (42) sub locations and 465 villages.
Chebunyo market branded with livestock auction attracts traders from Nakuru, Narok, Kisii and Kericho and is arguably the leading source of revenue but it is hardly accessed due to impassable murram roads.
Alfred Kimunai Arap Soi was Chepalungu MP for three terms in (1966, 1974 &1990), Tamason Barmalel for one term beginning 1969, John Kipsang Koech for four terms (1979, 1983, 1988 and 2002).
Isaac Kiprono Ruto won area’s parliamentary seat twice in 1997& 2007, on Kanu and ODM party tickets respectively, Paul Bii for one term in 2013 and now under the leadership of Gideon Koskei of CCM party.
Chepalungu residents will have nobody to blame but their leaders who did not use their positions well. During Moi’s era, Isaac Ruto served as assistant Minister for Education, assistant minister for Agriculture and in 2001 appointed Minister of Environment and Natural Resources while his predecessor John Koech was Minister for Public Works between 1988 and 1989 and became East African & Regional Cooperation Minister during Kibaki’s era between 2006 – 2007
Notable leaders from Chepalungu include former Moi University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Kiprono Mibey who was born in Nyambugo village, Sigor in 1951.
Mibey tried to bulldoze the establishment of university campus at his Sigor village as his only legacy but the deal flopped due to lack of good roads.
The devolved system seems to have no hope for this constituency. When its former MP Isaac Ruto became first Bomet Governor, many thought he would liberate it from bondage of poverty but he ironically formed Chama Cha Mashinani; a party championing for more development and money to grassroots levels across the country. It is laughable!
Due to lack of good roads and decent social amenities, Chepalungu missed Kabianga University campus that was to be set up in Sigor and later a proposed Moi University that went to Bomet town.
“Isaac Ruto missed a mark. He could first lobby for tarmacking of Sachoran-Sigor road before fighting for establishment of Bomet University in Sigor. His pride and lack of plan is to blame for the region’s underdevelopment,” Kibet Koech said
Koech further faulted the CCM party leader for regrouping government rebels saying this would isolate the current MP who is elected on his party hence no development.
“With experience of more than 20 years in politics, Isaac should be aware that being outside the government will attract no development. Why is he trying to alienate his MP who should be siding with Ruto in order to lobby for more projects ?,” he questioned
Locals allege that it was impossible for the region’s five MCAs: Sammy Kirui-late(Sigor Ward), Reuben Langat(Kongasis Ward), John Chepokwony(Chebunyo), Cecilia Towett-Late (Nyongores) and Leonard Kirui (Siongiroi) to tweak development projects home when Isaac was on bed with opposition leaders instead of negotiating with Deputy President William Ruto to open up the region.