H.E Prof. John Krop Lonyangapuo is the second and current governor of West Pokot county. Prof Lonyangapuo, a seasoned politician and a member of KANU, recently served as the first senator of West Pokot county before embarking on his journey for the gubernatorial position.
Prof Lonyagapuo has risen from humble beginnings to now; a household name in Kenyan politics. Previously, the governor held senior government positions in the Kenyatta and Kibaki administrations where he served as the permanent secretary-Min of Industrialization (2010-2012) and later on served in the same capacity, Min of Public works (2008-2010) following a reshuffle by the then president Kibaki.
During his tenure as the PS, Prof Lonyangapuo facilitated a lot of development; improving the state of roads and building bridges across the county. He is also credited for initiating academic institutions in West Pokot, Tiaty in Baringo and Eastern Uganda. The governor, who is passionate about matters education was appointed the principal of Chepkoilel campus, which was a constituent of Moi university then, serving from the year 2002-2007.
After close to two decades of experience in the field of academia and public service, Prof. Lonyangapuo joined politics in 2007 and contested unsuccessfully for the Kapenguria parliamentary seat on a KANU ticket, emerging third.
In September 2012, he resigned as PS and vied for the West Pokot senatorial seat, competing against seasoned politicians Hon. Samwel Poghisio and Rev. Julius Murgor who were then serving members of parliament for Kacheliba and Kapenguria, and minister and assistant minister, respectively. He became the flag bearer of the KANU party where he won with a landslide, garnering 72% of the votes.
The CountyTrak Senator’s approval survey, conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting on behalf of the Daily Nation in 2015, Prof John Krop Lonyangapuo of West Pokot was the highest ranked Senator in the country, with an approval rating of 74.5 per cent. He was then referred as ‘senator 1’ by his colleagues and constituents for his debating prowess and contributions in the senate.
In 2016, Prof. Lonyangapuo declared his interest to run for the West Pokot county gubernatorial seat which was hotly contested and he subsequently won during the elections conducted on 8/8/2017.
Early life & Education.
Prof lonyangapuo was born in 1964 in Kanyarkwat, a remote village in the then West Pokot district, Rift Valley province. At the age of 10, he joined Kanyarkwat primary school where he sat for his certificate of Primary Education(CPE), then proceeded to Ortum Secondary School for his ‘O’ levels, subsequently emerging top in his class.
He then joined St. Mary’s School of Yala for his ‘A’ levels in 1985. Prof. Lonyangapuo joined Egerton University for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In 1995, he got a scholarship for Doctorate in Applied Mathematics in the University of Leeds, UK. After three years in Leeds, he returned to Kenya and joined Egerton University as a senior lecturer.