Siaya deputy governor's woes worsen as MCAs plot impeachment

Siaya Governor James Orengo (right) and his deputy William Oduol. The two fell out barely seven months after they were sworn into office. [Photo Michael Mute, Standard]

Siaya MCAs have dismissed Deputy Governor William Oduol's allegations of corruption in the executive.

In a report tabled before the assembly Monday, the MCAs said Oduol's claims were unsubstantiated.

While tabling the report, Usonga MCA Sylvester Madialo said no projects were removed from the budget for the Alego-Usonga sub-county as claimed by the deputy governor in his written submissions.

Mr Oduol raised concern over the allocation of funds in the Supplementary Budget for FY 2022/2023 towards the governor and deputy governor’s residences, upgrading to bitumen standard of Segere – Ouru – Ogaso road and Siaya Stadium.

He claimed that funds allocated towards the three projects in Alego – Usonga were removed from the Supplementary Budget.

But in the report that was adopted by the assembly, the committee observed that the re-allocation did not only affect projects in Alego Usonga sub-county but also other sub-counties.

On the deputy governor's allegations that he was not involved in decision-making at the county administration, the committee said that he did not provide evidence to prove that his opinion was disregarded.

Oduol, who fell out with Governor James Orengo barely seven months after they were sworn into office, also claimed that there were irregular financial transactions amounting to about Sh100 million.

He further alleged fraud in the payroll of Sh5.4 million and Sh2.5 million in December 2022.

In its report, the committee revealed that a suspicious voucher and IFMIS printout indicated that the processing of the voucher worth Sh5.4 million was stopped, requisition of the same was not done and no payment was done.

On allegations that some officers were targeted for removal from public service because they hail from Alego-Usonga, among them the County Secretary Joseph Ogutu and the late County Public Service Board Chairman Elijah Achoch, the committee found that the County Secretary voluntarily tendered a letter of resignation to the governor dated February 13.

"The governor accepted his intention to resign vide a letter dated February 25, 2023. The Deputy Governor has failed to indicate the person(s) who may have coerced or unduly influenced Mr Ogutu to resign, if any," read the report.

Speaking during the special sitting, Yimbo East MCA Francis Otiato lauded the report, saying it was good for the people of Siaya to know the truth.

East Gem MCA Seth Baraka, commended the committee saying it was sad that the assembly was accused of being compromised.

Minutes after the assembly adopted the committee report, East Asembo MCA Gordon Onguru filed a notice of a motion of impeachment against the deputy governor.

While reacting to the decision by the assembly to dismiss his allegations, said he was still studying the report and would respond later.

"It's very unfortunate that the assembly has dismissed the evidence I presented to them," he said.

On the notice of the motion for his impeachment, the deputy governor said he did not know the grounds.

"When you're fighting graft you must be prepared for anything. I will face it head-on," he said.