A senior county government official was yesterday grilled by police for allegedly threatening to shoot Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and his deputy Mathews Owili.
Chief of Staff Patrick Ouya was, however, released after what police said was an intervention by senior county officials to have the matter ‘handled administratively’.
Mr Ouya’s grilling came barely 24 hours after Economic Planning minister Richard Ogendo also recorded a statement with the police following claims he assaulted acting Chief Officer (Economic Planning) Margaret Ouma.
The two arrests, coming barely a week after five other senior officers were sent home by Nyong’o over allegations of corruption and misconduct, are pointers to the deep problems bedeviling the county government.
According to sources from the governor’s office, Ouya confronted Nyong'o and demanded an explanation for the Executive's decision to allegedly reverse Sh360 million allocated to the County Assembly.
However, a statement from the governor’s office indicated that Ouya had only scuffled with security agents.
“The Chief of Staff, in an unexplained and unwarranted fit of rage, accosted the governor's security personnel, attempted to forcefully gain entry into the governor's office - who was by then holding a meeting with some very important guests - and threatened to shoot everybody, including the governor,” read the statement signed by the head of the Press unit, Alloyce Ager.
Mr Ager said Ouya had threatened Owili after a confrontation the previous day, a situation that created panic within Prosperity House.
Ouya, however, claimed that he was accosted in his office by Nyong’o's aides, who accused him of plotting an impeachment Motion against the governor. “For Mr Owili, I can confirm that we had some small differences and a verbal exchange, but it did not get out of hand. But in the governor’s case, the two men came into my office and provoked me. After the short altercation, they told me to expect the worst, only for police to arrest me a few minutes later. In fact, I had no firearm,” said Ouya.
Kisumu OCPD Meshack Kiptum confirmed that police searched Mr Ouya’s office but did not find a firearm. Kiptum said Ouya was arrested following a commotion in the governor's office.
“We were in a meeting when we got the alarm. We sent officers who restored order and brought the chief of staff to the station. We are, however, investigating to know the circumstances under which the incident occurred. Should there be need for our action, then we will act,” Kiptum said.
The Chief of staff reiterated that he had a cordial working relationship with Nyong'o. He pointed a finger at the governor's allies, who he did not name, saying they wanted to portray him as being against the county government.
In Ogendo's case, police were yet to press charges despite summoning him to Central Police Station. The minister denied that he had been arrested. “I gave my side of the story as was required by police. I was informed that the investigation was on and I will be informed when there is need,” he said.
Ms Ouma had claimed that Ogendo stormed her office on April 24 and engaged her in an altercation over matters in her docket before assaulting her.
The cracks in Nyong’o's government have been widening, with a section of the Executive accused of siding with the Assembly to scuttle smooth running of operations.