As political analysts had observed, the West Pokot County gubernatorial race was going to be unpredictable on who was to emerge the victor. The contest was a two horse race with Simon Kachapin of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) recapturing the seat he lost in the 2017 elections. He was declared the winner after garnering 86,476 votes against 84,610 received by his bitter rival John Lonyangapuo of the Kenya Union Party.
Interestingly, the two were once political bosom buddies with Lonyangapuo settling on the senatorial seat while Kachapin clinched the county CEO slot in 2013. Both were elected on the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party.
But in a classic case of friends becoming foes, Lonyangapuo salivated for the gubernatorial seat and trounced Kachapin in 2017. The former garnered approximately 86000 votes against 63000 votes accumulated by the latter.
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Unlike the bullish Lonyangapuo who is well known for the famous kijana fupi round sarcastic remark, Kachapin is rather soft-spoken. Wok take a look at the impressive career of Mr. Kachapin.
Simon Kachapin family and background
Kachapin hails from Sigor in West Pokot County. He is the son of the late Mathayo Kitalei and Eunice Ngorekou.
According to various sources, he was born in 1967 (aged 55) and is married to Josephine Kachapin. His son, Kevin Kachapin is a lawyer and a former students’ president for Kabarak University. Kevin has previously toyed with the idea of following his dad’s political footprints.
Education and teaching career
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Mr. Simon Kachapin pursued a Bachelor’s of Education degree at Moi University before being employed as a teacher. Prior to venturing into politics in 2013, he was the senior principal of Ortum Boys High School.
Kachapin was elected as the first governor of West Pokot in 2013. Under his tutelage, he took credit for setting up a KMTC campus and construction of the Makutano Stadium among other infrastructural projects. He was also vocal in condemning the media for concentrating much on negative news vis-a-vis positive developments in the county.
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In 2017, Kachapin sought to retain his seat on a Jubilee party ticket but he was floored by Lonyangapuo. However, he was appointed the Cabinet Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Education Ministry by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The former principal also served in the same capacity in the ministries of Energy and Sports, Culture and Heritage. As a CAS, one of his duties was to implement various policies as necessitated by the ministries.
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