- The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Samuel Kobia has revealed the commission has summoned the governor to appear on Tuesday next week.
- Kobia spoke when appeared before the Senate Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, inquiring into the conflict between the two county leaders.
Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya is under investigation over alleged ethnic contempt and hate speech in the escalating war with his deputy Philomena Kapkory.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Samuel Kobia has revealed the commission has summoned the governor to appear on Tuesday next week.
“The commission has issued the summons to the governor and he is scheduled to appear before NCIC on Monday, November 28, 2023, at 10 am,” Kobia said,
Kobia spoke when appeared before the Senate Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, inquiring into the conflict between the two county leaders.
According to a submission by the NCIC before the House Team, the allegations against Governor Natembeya are centred on potential violations of the NCIC Act, specifically relating to Ethnic Contempt and Hate Speech.
“The commission is investigating the governor of Trans Nzoia for the offence of ethnic contempt contrary to section 62(1) of the NCIC Act and hate speech contrary to section 13(1) of the NCIC Act,” NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia said.
The remarks come barely a fortnight after Kapkory appeared before the Sheikh Abass-led committee and alleged threats and frustrations by those close to her boss.
Kobia told the panel that the probe follows a complaint filed by the deputy governor with the commission alleging a threat to her life and ethnic profiling.
“NCIC received initial complaints from Kapkory, the Deputy Governor of Trans Nzoia County about the inflammatory utterances made by HE George Natembeya that were going viral on several social media platforms,” Kobia said.
Consequently, Kapkory has since received a statement from the commission.
Kobia said that a team of investigators had already travelled to Trans Nzoia and personally served the county boss with a summons to appear before it for questioning.
The bitter feud between Governor Natembeya and Deputy Kapkory, who hails from the minority Sabaot community, has been ongoing for several months.
The conflict has reached a point where the deputy governor felt compelled to flee the county, expressing concerns for her safety. She now operates from her Nairobi home.
In her statement, the deputy governor alleged that the governor is opposed to the creation of a county for Sabaots.
The governor, according to the submission by NCIC, is on record stating that the ‘Sabaots were dreaming and that they would not get any county despite their petition to the National Dialogue Committee.
Kapkory disclosed that tensions emerged after she assumed office, with accusations from the governor and his supporters that she did not adequately mobilize her ethnic group and the broader Kalenjin community in support of the administration.
In her statement, Kapkory outlined a troubling narrative of exclusion, discrimination, and sidelining in decision-making processes and the overall management of county affairs.
She alleged denial of the designated residence for the Deputy Governor, accompanied by threats to her security and life through WhatsApp and Facebook communications.
She told the committee that the deputy governor's official residence which was occupied by her predecessor and which had been under renovation was converted into the First Lady's office and she has been forced to use her private residence to perform some official duties.
"My predicaments border on lack of facilitation to discharge duties, contempt, mistreatment, intimidation, security and threats to life, public vilification, and deliberate acts of disrespect by junior county staff, among others," Kapkory declared.
The situation escalated further following a presentation by a delegation of Sabaot community members at the National Dialogue Committee at Bomas, where they sought the creation of an extra county. Kapkory reported receiving threatening messages as a result.
According to the deputy county chief, she recently received several messages from concerned residents informing her of abusive and threatening posts on various social media platforms targeted at her.
She contented that the threatening messages were posted by known officials who are part of the governor’s communication team and that the messages were published or posted after the elders begun their quest for a new county.
“The threats issued against me were personal and the constant message was that I am not required to step in my office as I had become a “persona non-grata”.
Despite reporting the matter to Governor Natembeya and submitting a formal letter on October 4, Kapkory asserted that her concerns were ignored.
She accused the governor of tacitly endorsing the threats through public utterances, joining in public vilification, and delivering speeches that fueled ethnic animosity.
Kapkory also claimed that despite reporting the matter, the governor took no action, perpetuating a culture of bullying, intimidation, and disrespect.
She presented video clips to the committee, alleging that the Governor issued inciting remarks.