Kapchorwa. The sky looked cloudy but the mood in Kapchorwa Municipality and the rest of Sebei at the weekend showed the exact opposite.
At exactly 10am, scores of boda-boda riders, vehicles and pedestrians brandishing campaign posters of Kapchorwa Municipality MP as well as Water and Environment minister Sam Cheptoris hit the streets with chants praising the new minister. The mood was telling. Sebei sub-region was celebrating the appointment to Cabinet of their own.
Mr Cheptoris is not the first in the region to be appointed minister. Already, Stephen Chebrot, Jane Francis Kuka and Cheptoris’ brother, Prof Sheme Chemangey Masaba have since served President Museveni’s regime in Cabinet. So what was special?
“We have seen him come from scratch to where he is. He has been a teacher, head teacher, chairman LC5 and now he is a full Cabinet minister,” a man only identified as Chepkurui said.
At Satya’s Resort in Kapteret sub-county, Kapchorwa Municipality, where the thanksgiving party was held, Mr Cheptoris was welcomed amid traditional songs and chants led by Kalenjin Group singers.
Wearing a black suit and sky blue tie, the minister took to the floor at 4pm.
“The appointment was a miracle. When I got the news, I could not believe it until I saw my name in the newspapers the following day. I think the President just tossed a coin, looked at my age and decided to choose the old man. Let’s thank President Museveni,” he said.
“I am holding this position on behalf of the whole Sebei. I had promised to visit the constituency every week but I will visit at least once a month because I now have a busier working schedule,” Cheptoris told his voters.
He said he will contest in 2021 contrary to his campaign promise to serve for only one term.
“How can I just disappear like a hen? I got the trophy and I must defend it,” he said.
As the minister starts work, he has a task of responding to the people’s wishes among them; establishing a university, either public or private in the sub-region, the need for valley dams and irrigation systems to help boost agricultural production, intervention in Sebei Elgon Cooperative Union matters to help reestablish the cooperative union, establishing a proper water system in Kapchorwa Municipality and ensuring unity in the sub-region, among others.