“Penye Wazee Hapaharibiki Neno” is a Swahili popular proverb that means that the place where old men are present no word goes astray. In Kalenjin Community, older people are respected and mostly their decisions are always taken seriously, but the current office of the council have been known to Nandi as corrupted sycophants who are given money to praise a Chematel failed system of governance. The current leaders of Nandi Kaburwo Council of Elders have been exposed and accused to be taking handouts from Nandi County governor Mr Cleophas Lagat, allegedly every Monday, and these grey haired and bald-headed greedy representatives have betrayed the community in several ways.
They’ve failed to warn about the impending dangers to Nandi due to the poor leadership of Cleophas Lagat. The council of elders have again been silenced instead of coming out strong to point a finger of blame to Nandi County governor for daylight corruption, nepotism, wastage of funds and resources, embezzlement, et cetera.
1. The elders are said to be taking handouts from the governor after which the come back and manipulate the public to support the government that its evident of non-performing, taking advantage of their positions and respect in the community.
2. They condemn advocates and activists seeking to enlighten the community and create awareness as well as seek information, transform and hold leaders accountable.
3. They are against efforts of the young people to peacefully demonstrate by hindering their democracy and expression of dissatisfactions based on the current rule.
4. Speaking to Arise Nandi, one member and official of the council said that their leadership is wrangling and they’ve disintegrated. He cited example where Chemigiing from Chepkunyuuk, an incumbent official leader goes to the governor to take handouts alone without informing the rest. He added that the leader at times takes with him non-members of the Council to the office of the governor, and he has appointed young men to be leaders without satisfactory qualifications.
5. They have also been suspected to be sycophants and spies of CL. In anti-governor meetings and events, they are suspected to be taking notes to later brief him on what the public is planning to strategically oust him out for a better Nandi.
It became a shock to Civil Society Representatives from various regions when an elder member of the Nandi Kaburwo Council of Elders (name witheld) accepted the fuming accusations from members and MCAs present in the Conference Hall, Eden Springs Hotel at Kapsabet during a Breakfast Meeting.
“Yes, its true he (Cleophas Lagat) gives us money but I rise to defend the Council of Elders. Our work is advisory and we have talked to him that the Nandis are dissatisfied.”
In his defense, he challenged the members this way;
“Ngekona elipu aeng’, somok ak kelenjo transpot chekuuk cho ko tos kageala? ”
Meaning, “If I’m given two, three thousand and I’m told it is my fare, is that buying me?”
The old man added, “Our governor is very cunning. He’s a wizard. He can silence us with money tactically, and promises work that he hasn’t done.”
Immediately the conference hall was filled with murmurings of agreement as many said that the tactics used by the governor to drain Nandi dry are indeed tricky.
Members had cited an example of Njuri Ncheke, a leader of Kikuyu Council of Elders whose advice to the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta will be respectfully adhered to. The same should be emulated to Nandi.
He assured the congregation that although some few elders may be manipulated by the few thousands of handouts, he said that they will remain for truth and advise accordingly as the elders of Nandi, and raise red flags on certain areas as it is required.