Apart from the huge financial perks that accompany holding political office in this country, the power involved, many say, is more addictive.
Even people who the closest they have got to holding public office is a declaration of intent in a dingy bar, the tittle Mheshimiwa (Honorouble) is as addictive as the things they will be high on.
It was thus surprising when new Bomet governor Joyce Laboso told residents not to refer to her as “Excellency” but simply “madam governor.”
It is a status title that even those who lost hug and cling to desperately and Laboso’s move will infuriate many of these hopefuls. She also said she did not require special treatment from them saying it was she that is their servant not the other way round.
She was addressing her first public event at the Bomet stadium on Tuesday while launching a clean-up exercise of the town. Laboso, who is among the first three female governors in the country, argued quality of service, and not title of jobs matters most.
“I have instructed these people not to bring me the special seat reserved for a governor. I will seat on an ordinary chair like everyone else,” she said in what appeared a barb on former governor Isack Ruto who had a specially designated seat and which was carried around to all his functions across the county.
Laboso, who was accompanied by county commissioner Erastus Ekidor and National Environment Management Authority (Nema) county director Moses Morintat among other national government officials promised residents of her availability always. She vowed to ensure harmonious relations with the National government officials in the region.
“What we want is service to our people and not a tug of war between the two units,” she said and promised to tame the ballooning wage bill by cutting down the number of employees currently standing at 6,000 against the county’s annual revenue collection of Sh200 million.
“I will ensure we have a lean and efficient workforce to serve the people instead of having one that was bloated and doing nothing despite consuming huge salaries,” she said.