El­ders back sen­a­tor for king­pin

They slammed an­other group that had re­jected Lonyan­ga­puo be­ing made com­mu­nity spokesman and say he has fought for the rights of the Pokot

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - MARRYANN CHAI @ChaiMar­ryann

Some el­ders in West Pokot county have sup­ported the re­cent installation of Sen­a­tor John Lonyan­ga­puo as the com­mu­nity’s king­pin and spokesman.

On Tues­day an­other group, the Coun­cil of El­ders, de­nounced the installation which took place last week­end in Baringo county. They said Lonyan­ga­puo is too young to be given the po­si­tion.

One group led by Wil­liam Lopetak­oue said it was right for el­ders from Baringo to con­duct the cer­e­mony in Baringo in­stead of West Pokot, be­cause there is no coun­cil of el­ders in the county.

“No one can claim that he is the coun­cil of el­ders. The time for choos­ing the coun­cil of el­ders has not come. The court ruled there is no coun­cil of el­ders and fresh elec­tions should be con­ducted,” he said.

Lopetak­oue said the cer­e­mony takes place ev­ery year in the same place.

“The late Fran­cis Lotodo was in­stalled in Baringo, even former Pres­i­dent Moi was in­stalled at the same place. The cer­e­mony is fi­nal and we can’t go against them,” he said.

Lopetak­oue thanked the Baringo el­ders for recog­nis­ing Lonyan­ga­puo’s ef­forts in fight­ing for the com­mu­nity.

“The ti­tle is not given to just any­body. It’s given to some­body who has been con­sis­tently fight­ing for the rights of the com­mu­nity. You don’t beg for it. The el­ders are the ones who recog­nise your ef­forts,” he said.

The el­ders said that only four peo­ple have been in­stalled in the his­tory of the Pokot com­mu­nity to hold the po­si­tion.

“They are Len­go­tung in 1830, who saved Pokots, Se­nior Chief Kamo­likapel Ngo­leyo when the whites wanted to fin­ish us, the late Cabi­net min­is­ter Fran­cis Lotodo, for sav­ing cat­tle that re­mained in the Amaya area,” he said. And now Lonyan­ga­puo.

They said those op­pos­ing the installation of do­ing it for political rea­sons.

“We have heard that other el­ders are against it. Whom did they want to be in­stalled? We thank the el­ders from Baringo for giv­ing re­spect to our son and leav­ing theirs. It means they have faith in him,” said Lopetak­oue.

Moses Che­p­arer said the el­ders have power to give the honour to any­body they see as leader.

Daniel Lopole said, “All the four sub­coun­ties have ac­cepted that Lonyan­ga­puo is our leader. We are sur­prised how a few el­ders from Kapen­guria are act­ing.”

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