Vihiga County officials face the sack over Sh18m account

Gisambai MCA Eric Odei moves a motion to impeach CECM for Youths Marita Agufana on July 23, 2018. Four senior officers in Governor Wilber Ottichilo's administration have been impeached. [Eric Lungai, Standard]

The county assembly has voted to start dismissal proceedings against four senior county government officers in Governor Wilber Ottichilo’s administration.

The decision was reached following last week’s revelation that Sh18 million was transferred to a private account to prevent it from being sent back to Central Bank of Kenya at the end of the 2017-2018 financial year.

The MCAs unanimously voted that Finance Executive Alfred Indeche, Gender, Youths, Sports and Culture Executive Marita Agufana, and their respective chief officers should be investigated and dismissed.

The motions were tabled by MCAs Eric Odei (Gisambai), Douglas Beru (Shamakhokho) and Wycliffe Masini (Mungoma), and two committees were formed to finalise the process.

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The MCAs accused Ms Agufana of sanctioning the transfer of public funds to a private account and unlawfully holding on to appropriated money withdrawn from the exchequer account.

False testimony

“She further gave false testimony on oath before the county assembly committee and conspired to defraud the county government of public funds,” said Mr Odei.

Mr Indeche was blamed for authorising the irregular disbursement of public funds to private accounts.

“He also failed to stop the irregularity while sanctioning the operations of an illegal bank account,” said Mr Beru.

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Chief Whip Victor Ijaika also accused Indeche of paying workers’ salaries late.

The MCAs want two chief officers, Livingstone Imbayi (Finance) and Clement Manyulu (Gender) investigated by a committee on finance and economic planning to establish the nature and extent of their involvement in the matter.

“We want to establish the specific roles played in the process of opening and disbursement of county public funds into private accounts and give relevant recommendations as to their suitability to continue holding office,” said Mr Masini.

Deputy Speaker Nixon Butiya directed the committees formed to expand their investigations to other departments.

“The assembly will not tire until anyone who may have swindled money meant for the county is brought to book,” he said.

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Last week, County Secretary Francis Ominde sent Education Executive Felistus Okumu on compulsory leave following another motion.

Mr Ottichilo has publicly declared his administration’s zero-tolerance for corruption.

“Capital punishment should be prescribed for those found involved in any acts of corruption,” he said at a teachers’ AGM over the weekend.

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Vihiga Countyvihiga governor wilber ottichiloblowcounty officialssacked