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Kisii County Assembly clerk narrowly escapes night attack as wrangles persist

NYANZA
By Erick Abuga | October 14th 2014
Kisii County Assembly Clerk, James Nyaoga looks at his damaged car. He was accosted by a man carrying an axe while entering his apartment.

Kisii, Kenya: The Kisii County Assembly Clerk, James Nyaoga was Monday night attacked by unknown people as he opened the gate to his apartment in Kisii town.

The clerk has been embroiled in a protracted tussle with some individuals in the assembly who he says could have planned the 8pm attack even as police continue to investigate the matter.

The incident comes a few weeks after the speaker, Kerosi Ondieki survived an impeachment motion and is likely to raise political temperatures in the Kisii County Assembly.

Addressing the assembly, the speaker then said he regretted the issues that had emerged between him and the clerk.

According to Nyaoga, he has been receiving threatening calls since September 2013 over his failure to append his signature on some touchy documents in the Assembly.

"I have on several occasions ignored directives to sign some documents that could have led to withdrawal of millions of money. The clerk is the only individual authorized to sign payment vouchers on behalf of the Assembly but I have to admit that this has been done to the contrary," said Nyaoga.

He explains that, early last month he was requested to sign a Sh61 million invoice that he claims was prepared in the street for the payment of office furniture.

“There are people who want me to do things without following due process at the expense of misusing tax payers' money. I have written several advisory letters to the Assembly Board but some forces have decided to ignore them," explained Nyaoga.

He agrees that the Executive arm of the County Government and the entire assembly have held several meetings to try and solve the impasse but still there are individuals frustrating the efforts.

The clerk recounts that during the last financial year, the County Assembly received Sh137 million on development expenditure but he only signed Sh6 million for the construction of committee rooms.

In April 2014, the speaker of the Kisii County Assembly, Kerosi Ondieki wrote a letter to the Transitional Authority to recall Nyaoga.

Nyaoga termed the move illegal and moved to the Industrial Court in Kisumu on May 2014 through Counsel Oguttu Mboya in a matter that had been certified as urgent. The speaker of the Kisii County Assembly Kerosi Ondieki, The Kisii County Assembly Service Board and Daniel Mbaka Omwoyo (acting clerk) had been listed as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents.

He had sought declaration that he was the duly appointed and constituted Clerk, Kisii County Assembly and hence had the mandate and authority to exercise the functions of the office of Clerk, Kisii County Assembly.

On Friday 23 May 2014 Industrial Court Justice Byram Onganga ruled that the petitioner was duly appointed by the Board with approval of the Assembly in accordance with section 13(1) of the County Governments Act, 2012.

The County Assembly Public Service Board is accused to have authorized employment of extra staff members without regard to the law.

The matter proceeded to the Industrial Court in Nakuru where Justice Stephen Radido issued interim orders restraining the assembly from paying any allowances or remuneration to over 270 employees.

The issuance of the employment letters remains a thorny issue in the Assembly after it emerged that, deputy clerk Daniel Omwoyo Mbaka had signed the letters contrary to the constitution.

According to our source, Mbaka has been the acting clerk since May after the Service Board granted him powers to do so.

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