Above[Majority Leader Josphat Lowoi during the scuffle with British Diplomat Tom Howe] Below[Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno]
Some senior officials from the British
High Commission were early yesterday forced out of Sirikwa Hotel while meeting with civil society organisations from North Rift region.
The three officials were Second Secretary in Charge of Political Affairs Tom Howe, Director of Political Affairs C Sugden and
another officer only identified as Nancy.
Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno stormed the meeting and kicked them out accusing them of violating
He lashed out at the officials to the surprise of those in attendance, claiming that the county government was not informed about the forum.
Chemno who was flanked by County assembly majority leader Josphat Lowoi,accused the British officials of not informing the county government of their meeting a move he termed as undermining the county government and their leadership. He also vowed to report the matter to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The deputy governor said the whole
issue was done in a secretive manner warranting suspicions among the local leadership about the British High Commission’s top officials’ tour of the county.
But reacting to Chemno’s accusations, one of the officials, Mr Howe, said that their mission should not raise any suspicion as they had come to have a peaceful forum with various civil society group drawn from the region.
He said before they came to Uasin Gishu,they had tried to contact the Governor over their mission with no avail. “We have been trying to get in touch with the Governor for the last two weeks but our efforts did not bear any fruits. We even texted him but he never replied to our inquiries,”said Tom.
Howe requested the local leadership not to harbour any suspicion over their mission in the county noting that they had come to meet with civil society organizations and elders from various communities on matters of peace and reconciliation.
Speaking to the Press later, one of the conveners of the aborted meeting Simon Kipkosgey, the coordinator of Kenya Sports
Foundation and Stephen Cheboi, the chairman of the North Rift Human
Rights Organisation, said they were working with the British to develop
sports as a means to enhance peace and unity among local communities.
“We were looking for partnership with the British government that could see our youth take part in mini Commonwealth Games as part of the wider campaign to promote peaceful co-existence among communities,” stated Chirchir.