Migori speaker impeached over gross misconduct, alleged break-in and theft

Migori Speaker Boaz Okoth was ousted days after being charged for breaking into the assembly's finance office. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Migori county assembly speaker Boaz Okoth has been impeached.

The speaker was accused of gross misconduct after allegedly breaking into the finance office and stealing files.

MCAs who were angered by the reported act tabled a motion immediately after resuming their sixth session and promptly kicked out the speaker.

According to the MCAs, the Speaker had held the assembly captive by his deeds such that they have been unable to perform their oversight role as required. They accused him of being an obstacle where he gags assembly members who now and again oppose his moves.

Even though we have a few months remaining to end the Assembly's business and go to the election, we are going to do what it takes to ensure that there is sanity in the assembly,” West Kanyamkago MCA Peter Mijungu said.

The MCAs also claimed that the speaker has been delaying payment of their salaries which has reduced them to beggars as they have now turned to borrow money to make ends meet. They accused him of high handedness and trying to change assembly committees without following established procedures.

“We need to bring sanity to this assembly. That is why we are doing a cleanup. Members are suffering, we even owe hotels. The speaker has demeaned MCAs for far too long,” South Sakwa MCA Ken Ngoro said.

He said his colleagues were no longer going to entertain any form of impunity at the assembly.

A total of 46 MCAs turned up during the session while 11 skipped.

Two abstained from voting, two voted No as 42 voted in support of the impeachment.

Bukira Central MCA Mathews Chacha who has been the deputy speaker will now act as the speaker.

The motion was tabled by Muhuru Bay MCA Hevron Maira who accused Okoth of gross misconduct and abuse of office when he was charged on February 3 at Migori High Court alongside seven others for breaking into the office of the Principal Finance officer Evans Ogutu.

However, Kaler MCA Thomas Akungo and Kachieng MCA Brian Osodo defended the speaker saying he was not given room to be heard. He had also not pleaded guilty to the charges in court.

On February 3 the speaker was arraigned in court alongside seven co-accused and denied charges of breaking into assembly finance offices and stealing equipment and files.

Okoth and others appeared before Chief Magistrate Dickson Onyango after they were arrested by police at the assembly premises.

Okoth, Philip Ochieng’, Boniface Otieno, Peter Okinyi, John Harun, Vincent Otieno, Jackline Odira and Clifford Ochieng’ appeared as first to eight accused persons respectively.

They were charged with breaking into the Migori county assembly finance office and making away with three computers, two CPUs, a monitor, and files.

Okoth together with his co-accused denied the charges and both were released on a Sh200,000 bond.

He is also facing corruption related charges where he was arraigned at a Kisumu court before Chief Magistrate Peter Gesore on December 2, 2020.