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Why Prof. Philip Kutima is better placed to succeed Oparanya as next Kakamega Governor in 2022

Kakamega

.………….This Man Prof. Philp Kutima……………

…………….The Making of a Leader Series…………………

By Collins Matubwi

Prof. Philip Museve Kutima was born 64 years ago in Malava Sub Sounty. He is the son of Philip Lutatwa and Lyaka Kutima.

Kutima is the First Deputy Governor of Kakamega County for the last eight years and is considered as a gentleman of Kakamega politics as well as the engine behind the success of Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who was ranked recently as the top performing governor in Kenya by Infotrak.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima

The Deputy Governor is described by his friends and foes as a loyal servant who is calm, smart and a strict administrator who will stop at nothing until he gets work done in the right way. No wonder, the pair (Oparanya and Kutima) during their tenure, they have changed the face of the county and hopefully come 2022, Kakamega will be upgraded to city status.

“Being a deputy governor is not an easy job and if you are not keen you will easily rub shoulders with your boss (Governor). You are his number one advisor and you need to be flexible to an extend of giving him a shoulder to lean on when things get out of hand. The good work you are seeing is due to the good working relationship I have with the governor,” said Prof. Kutima.

As I planted myself on the velvet coach that nestled snugly at one of the traditionally designed cottages at his home in Malava, Kutima avers that humility, good education and the managerial prowess has been the strongest pillars that has helped him maneuver in the murky waters of politics for the last eight years.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima giving a dairy cow to a farmer under the OIne Cow Initiative

“Being a deputy governor is not an easy job and if you are not keen you will easily rub shoulders with your boss (Governor). You are his number one advisor and you need to be flexible to an extend of giving him a shoulder to lean on when things get out of hand. The good work you are seeing is due to the good working relationship I have with the governor,” said Prof. Kutima.

Prof. Kutima avers that his wife Prof Hellen Lydia Kutima and his four children have also contributed to his success.

He received his BSc in Biology and Chemistry from Carthage College (USA) in 1982 and later Master of Science Degree from Kansas State University (Manhattan –USA). In 1987, Kutima got his Doctorate Degree in Microbiology from the North Carolina State University.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima giving Covid19 updates recently

Prof Kutima boasts of 25 years as an academician as well as a scientist with many research papers published under his name.

 ‘’The more educated you are, the more humble and disciplined you should be. You should be a good listener and be willing to accommodate each and everyone’s views irrespective of their societal status,” said Prof. Kutima.

He is a member of the Kenya Society of Biochemistry, Kenya Society of Microbiology and American Society for Microbiology.

The Deputy Governor started his career as a lecturer in the Dairy Food Science Department at Egerton University in 1987.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima at a past function

After three years, he got promoted to a senior lecturer’s position after securing another job at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Between 1992 – 1995, he served as the Chairman in the Department of Food Science and Technology until 2005 when he became an Associate Professor of JKUAT.

In 2009, Prof Kutima served as the Deputy Executive Director at the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) to February 2013. He teamed up with Governor Oparanya and founded the County Government of Kakamega.

He has extensive experience in capacity building and development in the East and Central Africa region. During his reign at AICAD, he worked with organizations such as the World Bank Institute, European Union, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organisations (WAITRO).

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima at a past function

During his career before venturing into politics, Prof Kutima received 3 mega awards for his exemplary work in academia and research namely; Biotechnology Award from JICA in 1992, Germany Academy Exchange Service Award in 2002 and the Kenya Dairy Board Award for three consecutive years from 2005,2006 and 2007.

“I wanted to serve my people of Kakamega and initially I wanted to go for Malava parliamentary seat but when the Governor asked me to be his running mate, I accepted the offer and we worked tirelessly during the electioneering period and that’s how we founded the County Government,” said Kutima.

Prof. Kutima has great passion for Agriculture and Industrialization and believes that the county has enough human capital to spur development in order to make Kakamega food secure.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima (second right) with Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (third right)

 “Kakamega County is a large scale producer of sugarcane, maize and tea. That’s why we want to revive Mumias Sugar Company, constructing a maize milling plant in Lugari and Tea factory in Shinyalu. Such initiatives will go a long way in giving jobs to our people and spur economic growth,” said Prof. Kutima.

 But what made Prof Kutima leave a well-paying job and venture into politics?

“I wanted to serve my people of Kakamega and initially I wanted to go for Malava parliamentary seat but when the Governor asked me to be his running mate, I accepted the offer and we worked tirelessly during the electioneering period and that’s how we founded the County Government,” said Kutima.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya with his deputy Prof. Philip Kutima at a past media briefing

He is one of the very few deputy governors in the country who were retained for the second term by their bosses due to the fact that he is a loyal servant. Majority of his colleagues were dropped after becoming over ambitious and wanted to dethrone their bosses.

The wheeler-dealers we talked to believe that Kutima can make a good governor given that he has been a good student under the leadership of Governor Oparanya.

They want Kutima to succeed Oparanya so that he can complete the development plans they started for the county.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima with Kaburengu accident victims at Webuye County Hospital

“Kutima is the secret force behind Governor Oparanya’s success story. He is secretive and thus may be difficult for his opponents to understand his political strategies and come 22022, he might give them a rude shock, “said one of them.

Some of his fierce opponents in the race are Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) CEO Fernandes Barasa, Lugari MP Ayub Savula, Kakamega County Assembly Clerk Laban Atemba, Sammy Omukoko, Prof. Amukoa Anangwe, Nicholas Musonye, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and lawyer Michael Osundwa.

“I am in the race but for now we are still working for the people of Kakamega County. Oparanya still has two years in office and am helping him deliver for the people of Kakamega what he promised them. When electioneering period will come, you will see me on the ground,” said Prof. Kutima.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof. Philip Kutima

Despite his very busy engagements, Kutima says he spares some time for Reading. He is a fanatic for soccer, rugby and hockey.

Political pundits are also of the opinion that Kutima should replace Oparanya in order to balance share of the county leadership cake since the current governor comes from the South while Kutima comes from the North.

Ends

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