By Kepher Otieno
The Lake Victoria South Water Services Board (LVSWSB) has terminated the contract of its embattled Chief Executive Officer Michael Ochieng.
The board’s action comes after a protracted court battle following failure by Mr Ochieng to respond to various accusations leveled against him and to appear before the board of directors to answer the charges.
A letter signed by the board’s chairman Joseph Nyaumba Weya read in part: “You deliberately refused to appear before the board of directors for a fair hearing of your case which amounts to insubordination on your part contrary to section 65.1V (iv) of terms and conditions of service for the employees of the board.”
Consequently, the directors resolved to terminate Ochieng’s employment contract with effect from August 27 this year due to gross misconduct and loss of faith in him.
He had been accused of failure to abide by the Public, Procurement and Disposal Act of 2005 and public and disposal regulations of 2006.
He was also accused of failing to ensure timely submissions of audited financial reports for LVSWSB under the African Development bank water services board support project thus bringing the board to disrepute.
This, the board claimed, “led to lack of confidence from the donors.”
Ochieng was also accused of altering board minutes for December 17, 2010 in which he commuted his leave days to cash and paid himself Sh443,520 in disregard of the board’s resolution to decline the same.
The letter also said that he failed to ensure that funds totalling to Sh238 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of Asembo water supply, East Uyoma water supply and West Uyoma water supply were effectively utilised.
The board resolved that he would only be paid his dues from December 27, 2011 to November 2012 less payments made to him by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and any other liabilities he owes to the board.
However, Ochieng vowed to pursue the matter, saying he had done a lot to ensure adequate provision and supply of water round Kisumu and within LVSWSB turf and accused the board of bias and “witch-hunting”.