Siaya DG William Oduol suffers blow as assembly dismisses graft allegations against executive
Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol suffered a blow on Monday, May 22, 2023, after the county assembly dismissed graft allegations levelled against the executive.
The assembly threw out Oduol's petition terming it a mere witchhunt against Siaya Governor James Orengo.
The members of the county assembly convened on Monday to consider the report of the findings on corruption allegations and mismanagement brought forward by Oduol.
The 50-page report presented by Sylvester Madialo, who stood in as chairperson of the General Oversight Committee of the County Assembly detailed the corruption claims by Oduol, responses by the Assembly and recommendations.
The MCAs unanimously voted against the graft report after a heated debate, leaving the deputy governor wondering how the graft case had taken a new twist.
He claimed that the legislators had turned against him despite tabling "facts" even as he vowed to challenge the verdict in court.
"Am not shocked by the Assembly's action but again am not deterred by their action," he said.
The House had invited the DG to appear before the committee on March 23 to present facts on the graft allegations.
In what Oduol sees as an attempt to silence him, the MCAs have filed a motion to impeach him.
The impeachment motion against Oduol was mooted by Roots party George Wajakoyah last year.
Wajakoyah, who spoke in the presence of ODM party leader Raila Odinga, had publicly told MCA's not to waste time with Oduol but to initiate an impeachment motion against him.
Similar sentiments were shared by Peter Masara during the launch of Ugunja Municipality.
"We only failed to capture the top seat and so we now depend on the devolved units and so whoever is arm-twisting Orengo must be dealt with," he said.
Alego Usonga MP Samwel Atandi had equally urged the MCAs to use the powers vested in them to tame Oduol.
The impeachment motion against Oduol comes two weeks after Raila's wife Mama Idah Odinga warned Oduol to refrain from attacking his boss in public but instead use internal mechanisms to iron out their differences.
"Matters of Siaya cannot be sorted out in the funerals but in a boardroom meeting," Mama Idah had said.
After a week of her advice, Oduol moved to the burial of former Public Service Board chairman Elijah Achoch where he met Orengo and tension and chaos rocked the burial that was presided over by ACK Church Bishop John Mark Haung.
So today, the assemblers led by East Asembo MCA Gordon Onguru filed a motion to impeach Mr Oduol over claims of abuse of office, gross misconduct and violation of the constitution.
The Orengo-Oduol war escalated as the assembly summoned the DG on March 24.
"The motion meets the threshold and we will proceed with it not earlier than 29th because the DG has abused his office, and we will also charge him with gross misconduct and violation of the constitution," Onguru stated.
Onguru said they are done with Monday'ss order of business but would divulge more information including charges levelled against Oduol the day the motion will be tabled in the assembly.
The ward representative accused Oduol of overstepping his mandate and failing to be the governor's principal assistant and instead resorted to playing politics.
"Mr Oduol has destroyed his career. We are aware that he has political ambitions and that can be traced back to when he declared interests and battle it out with Senator Oburu Oginga in 2013. He has unleashed his missiles so early and so we are out to tame him," Onguru stated.
"Even after being in the political cold for ten years, he has refused to learn," he added.
Ugenya MP David Ochieng had threatened to deal with whoever is keen on frustrating Orengo from doing his job, saying the many allegations piled by the DG were baseless because no resources have been devolved in counties.
Siaya Speaker George Okode endorsed the motion, saying it will sail through since it meets the threshold and would be discussed later.
Already a third of the MCAs at the assembly have signed the motion.
As of Monday, 26 MCAs had already signed to push Oduol out of office following a fallout with Orengo.
"We had set the pace in dealing with those who disrespect the assembly and so we are seeing kicks of a dying horse. When the time comes, we will not let this lie low," North Ugenya MCA Ben Adala said.
On his part, North Sakwa MCA Oliver Arika, who has been vocal and demanding the impeachment of Oduol, said he awaits the day.
"Someone in the stature of the DG cannot make such baseless allegations without backing them and then go scot-free, he must be held accountable for his actions that have tainted the image of Siaya County," Arika remarked.
Nominated MCA Dorothy Oinga challenged the DG to resign and seek an elective seat that will allow him to carry out oversight on the county government.
The legislators had challenged Oduol to submit all incriminating evidence he has to help weed out corruption.