Business activities in Kericho county on Thursday came to a standstill as thousands of residents stormed market centres to welcome their governor. Governor Paul Chepkwony survived an impeachment motion signed by 32 members of the county assembly three weeks ago.
But the Senate sitting in Nairobi dismissed the motion over lack of enough evidence. Chepkwony's supporters escorted him in more than 200 boda bodas and a convoy of vehicles to Mau Summit Kericho and Nakuru border where they converged to welcome him home.
He was cleared of any wrong doing by the Senate a week ago. Chepkwony, who was heading to Kericho from Nairobi, told supporters who lined up the busy Kericho-Nakuru Kericho highway that he has no grudges against the MCAs and those opposed to his leadership.
"At first I thought the impeachment motion was a mere joke, but I was shocked when it landed on the floor of the Senate," he said. He said it was by the grace of God and support of county residents who stood by him even after false accusations were leveled against him.
In particular, the governor praised the support from the Myoot Kipsigis Council of Elders chaired by Joseph Cheruiyot and church leaders under the chairmanship of Bishop Paul Leleito.
The governor made stopovers at Londiani, Kedowa, Chepseon, Chepsir and Brooke markets before ending his journey at Kericho town. "My next mission is to meet all 47 MCAs, six MPs, women's representative and the senator for a forum on the way forward," Chepkwony told his supporters amid cheers.
At Mois Gardens in Kericho town, some 15 MCAs, who stood by the governor, accused the assembly of being corrupt. They said their 32 colleagues, who passed impeachment motion, had no grounds.
Sorget-Tendeno ward MCA Sammy Rono said he was removed as assembly's chief whip and replaced by Kimugu ward representative Kiprono Chumo after he refused to back the motion.
"I was told by assembly speaker Japheth Mutai that my position had been taken by Chumo. I was not given an opportunity to defend myself as required by the law."