After serving Narok residents for one year and three months, outspoken County Commissioner (CC), George Natembeya has been promoted to the rank of Regional Commissioner (RC).
Natembeya, 48, is expected to hand over to the now Nandi County Commissioner (CC), Samuel Kimiti before leaving to coordinate National Government activities in the 14 counties of the Rift Valley region.
Addressing journalists in his office on Friday, Natembeya thanked President Kenyatta for entrusting him with a higher responsibility, saying he is ready to face the huge task ahead.
“Cattle rustling and general insecurity in the North Rift, increasing cases of road accident along major highways in the rift and restoring Mau forest in parts of South Rift will be my main focus. I will work with other public servants on the ground to bring sanity,” said Natembeya.
Natembeya will also be remembered for successfully leading an operation to mop up over 100 guns that were illegally under civilian hands in Trans Mara West and East Sub Counties in mid last year.
The outgoing CC has received numerous praises around the country for his efforts in environment conservation and fight towards ending retrogressive cultural practices in the Maasai Land.
Recently, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i said the effort of Natembeya to protect and conserve Maasai Mau forest was remarkable as he is the voice of the President on the ground.
“What we have seen Natembeya doing in this county is the plan of the National Government and he speaks the voice of the President. I dare to say this in public that there is no one in this country who can sack him despite the threats because we are behind him,” Matiang’i said.
The Chief Coordinator of Government Projects spoke last month during the opening of the new county commissioner’s office in Narok North where he praised Natembeya, saying he is very honest and faithful civil servant when implementing government projects especially the projects that fall directly under his docket.
“Natembeya has used only Sh.26 Million to construct this County Commissioner’s office which is a three storey building. This is very remarkable as the same amount of money was not enough in other counties. I can say without any fear that he is one of the best performing county commissioners in the country,” reiterated Matiang’i.
The outgoing CC last year became famous after he led his security team to evict about 7, 700 people who had encroached the Maasai Mau forest in Kosia and Nkoben areas hence recovering 12, 000 hectares of the forest land.
His firm stand despite strong opposition from political leaders drawn from the Rift Valley who made several visits to the affected areas made Natembeya more popular in the region.
Natembeya later hit headlines when he announced that all girls joining form one would undergo a FGM and pregnancy test in a bid to produce the people who cut them and the men behind their pregnancies.
Though his attempt was strongly opposed by women groups and human activists organizations, the threat seemed to have bore fruits as more girls have enrolled in form one this year compared to previous years where many would stick at home nursing wounds after the cut while others got married immediately after undergoing the initiation.
Natembeya confessed that his greatest achievement while in Narok was helping in resolving numerous cases of land issues where he has foreseen many individuals get their legal title deeds.
“When I came here, my major challenge was land issues and many people preferred rushing to court instead of resolving them amicably in their villages to avoid delays. I have at least overseen many group ranches dropping their cases and resolving to sub divide their land without any wrangles,” he said.
By Ann Salaton