What next for the impeached Siaya deputy governor, Oduol?

His removal from office has thrust him into unfamiliar territory, as he has become the first deputy governor to be impeached since the inception of devolution in 2013.

Observers believe that Oduol's fate will establish a precedent for the impeachment of deputy governors if the Senate endorses the decision made by the county assembly.

Section 33 of the County Governments Act, which outlines the procedure for the removal of a governor from office, does not specifically address the removal of a deputy governor. This ambiguity provides one of the grounds on which Oduol can rely in his efforts to save his job.

Nevertheless, Oduol is maintaining a courageous demeanour in the face of developments that threaten to tarnish his once illustrious political career, which flourished when he and Governor James Orengo effortlessly assumed leadership through their joint party ticket.

On Saturday, Oduol expressed that he is prepared to fight until the end and will not relent in his quest for what he describes as justice for Siaya residents.

"This was a lynch mob, and they had already reached a predetermined decision. We will have our day in the Senate, and Kenyans will have to learn the truth about what transpired. There is hope, and we will make a comeback. I will remain the deputy governor," Oduol said.

According to the experienced politician, his impeachment was driven by selfish interests, and he insists that the County Assembly was compromised.

A resolute Oduol maintains his innocence and asserts that the devolved unit should accept the fact that he will serve the remaining four years.

"It is going to be noisy and messy. And they must get used to William Oduol as the deputy governor for the next four years," he said.

Observers believe Oduol has a chance of survival in the Senate and may be rescued in a similar manner to the Senate's rejection of the impeachment of Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza.

However, his fate is likely to establish a precedent for the impeachment of deputy governors.

According to Clifford Otieno, a constitutional and political lawyer, the lack of clarity regarding the process of removing a deputy governor means that Oduol's impeachment is illegal.

"The ongoing process is completely illegal; there is no law that provides for the removal of a deputy governor. The law only stipulates the removal of a governor. The deputy governor and the governor are joined at the hip and are inseparable," says Otieno.

Siaya deputy governor, William Oduol, with county boss James Orengo during a past event. [File, Standard]

According to the advocate, even if the Senate unexpectedly approves the impeachment, no precedent will be set.

"I predict that the matter will either die in the Senate or move to court, where the court will provide directions regarding the clarity of the removal of a deputy governor since the law does not explicitly address it," says Otieno.

Oduol and his supporters believe that the dark cloud hovering over his political career will be dispelled by legal winds and the evidence he will present to defend his case.

"I was impeached on three grounds, and I can confidently say that I have all the evidence. I will present everything that they ignored in the Senate," said Oduol.

It remains to be seen how he will regain the trust of the county residents after all the MCAs have seemingly turned their backs on him. The ODM party has also suspended him from the party.

Over the past three months, Oduol has experienced a love-hate relationship with the executive, assembly, and the general public.

From being expelled from ODM to having his motion of ouster approved by the County Assembly, Oduol's fate now lies with the Senate.

Oduol, whose allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds by the county executive were dismissed by the County Assembly due to lack of evidence, has vowed to fight until the end in what he believes is in the best interest of the people of Siaya.

The embattled deputy governor first gained public attention in 2013 when he unsuccessfully contested the Siaya Governor's seat against Oburu Oginga and Rasanga. He managed to win the hearts of many.

Oduol lost to Rasanga but challenged the outcome in the High Court. He successfully nullified Rasanga's win, leading to a by-election. Rasanga then won the October 2013 vote.

Until February, Oduol, who is now a stranger in the 'Nyalore' administration, operated in close coordination with his boss, James Orengo.

At the centre of the ongoing conflict are succession politics, tenders, appointments, and allegations of betrayal from both camps.

Orengo had announced that he was ready to work alone, much to the disappointment of his deputy and his supporters.

Responding defiantly, Oduol continued to criticise the Orengo-led administration while reminding his boss that they were elected on a joint ticket. This dispute has divided MPs and MCAs, who have taken sides in the conflict.

Approximately two weeks ago, the Secretary of Political Affairs for ODM challenged Oduol to resign from his position.

In his statement, the Ugunja MP claimed that the stalemate between Governor Orengo and his deputy has the potential to disrupt the proper functioning of an ODM-led government in a strategic county.

Wandayi, who is also the Leader of the Minority in the National Parliament, alleged that there were signs of interference from ODM opponents in escalating the situation.