The Turkana Council of Elders has new elected officials after their first official elections was conducted over the weekend to replace the interim officials who had served for four years since its formation in 2015.

The election was conducted at Ekaales Cultural Centre in the presence of Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources County Executive Committee member (CEC) Charles Lokioto, Chief Officer (CO) Pauline Lokuruka and Department of Culture staff.

The 146 members, representing all the sub-counties, agreed to elect the officials through secret ballot with the County Social Development Officer, James Kiptoo, presiding over the elections. They elected Charles Lorogoi Ejore, unopposed, as the new chair.  They also elected Abraham Lokueom (vice chair), Emmamuel Lotiir Maraka (secretary), John Kaatho Echwa (vice secretary), Margret Achom (treasurer) and Nichodemus Ekai (vice treasurer).

“We appreciate the outgoing team as well as the incoming team. The future is here because this election shows that the Council of Elders has been born,” said CEC Lokioto. “However, the by-laws of the council need to be reviewed to suit your needs.”

The CEC appreciated the members for electing Achom – the only woman – as the treasurer, however they need to do more on gender representation as stipulated in the constitution.

The incoming chair, Ejore, said that the formation of the council would help in streamlining the Turkana cultural policies. He challenged the council to fast track to identify emerging issues in the communities and find possible solutions.

“Culture is the heart beat of our county and it should be guided on how it can be enhanced especially the Turkana language,” said CO Lokuruka.

The outgoing chair Philip Lobelu appreciated the ministry for conducting a transparent election and its support during his tenure.

The new officials are expected to serve for three years.