James Orengo: We have new solid evidence against my deputy

Siaya Governor James Orengo and his deputy William Oduol celebrate in Siaya after being cleared to vie for Siaya governorship. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Siaya Governor James Orengo has claimed he has collected new evidence against his deputy William Oduol on allegations of abuse of office.

The county chief, who is keen to absolve himself from blame in the ongoing feud with his deputy, said the Executive has solid evidence against his deputy, who is set to appear before the County Assembly’s Select Committee today.

This comes as Oduol opened a window for dialogue to end the row with his boss.

While reading the statement on behalf of the governor, the County Chief of Staff Cyrus Oguna said they have received new evidence of abuse of office by the deputy governor (DG).

“This new evidence touches on manipulation and influencing payment to certain contractors which is contrary to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015, and Public Finance Management Act 2012,” said Oguna in his statement.

Without giving details, Oguna said the evidence is solid and will be made public in due course. The developments come barely a week after Orengo invited Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate his deputy.

The county boss, who fell out with his deputy over what the latter said was a result of ideological differences, asked the anti-graft commission to undertake a thorough investigation into the role of the deputy governor in presiding over the committee of pending bills. “In particular, the commission should determine whether the deputy governor abused his leadership of the committee for rent-seeking. The county government will endeavour to assist the commission in determining this question,” said Orengo in his statement.

 Financial mismanagement 

The governor, who questioned whether or not his embattled deputy has raised any of the issues regarding financial mismanagement in writing to any appropriate organ, agency or office within the county government executive, including to the office of the governor, said this should be viewed in the context of Sections 32(2) of the County Governments Act.

The Act says the deputy governor shall deputise the governor in the performance of his functions. Orengo asked the EACC to investigate Oduol over allegations of interference with matters relating to the procurement of contracts for various projects in the county. “Because the deputy governor has gone public to claim that he has made complaints to the EACC, DCI and the County Assembly, whether the said reports or allegations constitute the offence of giving false information to a public or State office,” he stated.

But yesterday, Mr Oduol, who maintained that he was ready to have a dialogue with the governor on how to move the county forward, urged his boss to focus on the fundamental issues he raised.

Mr Oduol, who addressed the media in his office, said he was ready to step aside to give room for investigations.

“The investigations should not only be in the deputy governor’s office but the governor’s and the finance office,” he said.

Orengo has asked the EACC to determine whether or not withdrawals have been made for any other purpose other than the lawful and budgeted operations. “We also want investigations conducted on whether indeed it is true that any facilities or privileges legally accruing to the DG were or have been withdrawn,” he stated. 

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