George Natembeya explains how and why he chose a woman running mate, dimming hopes of an overcrowded field of men in bitter clan fights
Former Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya winnowed a large list of candidates to five finalists before settling on Philemona Binea Kapkori, in a process shaped by questions of Professionalism. He has lined up other contenders for top administration jobs in case elected.
. No candidate according to Natembeya scored as highly as the former administrator’s campaign’s core criteria for a running mate, including her strength in financial management during her 20 years stint at Barclays Bank.
Her skills and experiences acquired over the years among them customer service, Retail and Sales, Strategic Planning, Operations, Risk Management, and People Management played a very big role in leading to her being chosen as the most suitable to deputize the former administrator. Natembeya told Weekly Vision during an interview at the Natembeya campaign centre that it took him a very long time to search for a neutral person, especially a woman to deputize him after the community from which he had promised to pick one from engaging in ‘’ fistfights.
‘’ I said I would pick a woman candidate from the Sabaot community only for cartels and people with vested interests bringing a whole battalion of trouser wearers as favourites when they knew it was not possible’’, he said. ‘’ Some of the candidates who never made it through proxies continued raising issues which to me are not genuine. I was picking a running mate to help me run the county, not for them but the great people of Trans Nzoia’’, he said without elaborating.
He said he has kept hearing so much criticism of her from other candidates who never made it. He added that he wanted to know why they have been raising the questions whose answers they have not given him to date. He assured his supporters that the choice he had made was the best for the county, saying the choice of the banker will help his administration achieve the desired goals of reawakening the sleeping county sunk by financial mismanagement and corruption.
..He said he has kept hearing so much criticism of her from other candidates who never made it. He added that he wanted to know why they have been raising the questions whose answers they have not given him to date. He assured his supporters that the choice he had made was the best for the county, saying the choice of the banker will help his administration achieve the desired goals of reawakening the sleeping county sunk by financial mismanagement and corruption.
Mrs Kapkori, he said, beat all other contestants who were eying the position due to her solid foundation as a daughter of the Sabaot Community and also married there. Mr Natembeya’s search and the silent community attacks that prompted it helped begin a delicate audition for Ms Kapkori that has never before been revealed in depth. She has for some days been facing daunting obstacles, including an array of strong competitors, and unease about her within the Sabaot community. ‘’ The recorded interviews carried out after an exhaustive moment on an open table are there for everyone’s perusal. Those pointing fingers and issuing threats of decamping are asked to join me in rebuilding this county’’, he said.
Ms Kapkori was one of five finalists for the job, along with the Trade Chief Officer at the county government of West Pokot Dr Milka Psiwa, Pilot Stanley Kirui, Environment and water Chief Officer in Trans Nzoia John Kwemoi Meng’wa and Nairobi businessman Ndiema Isaac. But in the eyes of Mr Natembeya and his advisers, Ms Kapkori alone covered every one of their essential political needs.
34-year-old Kirui had sterling flying – credentials and a history of working with Mr Natembeya when he served as a County Commissioner in Isiolo but was inexperienced as a candidate owing to his age. Mr Meng’wa had an enthusiastic following among the Sabaot community and became a trusted adviser to Mr Natembeya, but he never represented either generational or cosmopolitan diversity.
Dr Psiwa, a moderate, appealed to Mr Natembeya’s political and ideological instincts and is seen as a force to reckon with in the community, having contested twice for the Saboti parliamentary seat. In the end, Mr Natembeya has embraced Ms Kapkori as a partner for reasons that were both pragmatic and personal — a sign of how the former administrator, who is oriented toward seeking consensus and building bridges, might be expected to govern. Indeed, Mr Natembeya has already told allies he hopes a number of the other deputy governor contenders will join his administration in other roles.
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