Opiyo Wandayi asks Siaya deputy governor to resign over row with Orengo
National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi wants Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol to resign over what he terms an irreparably broken working relationship with Governor James Orengo.
In a statement on Monday, May 22, 2023, Wandayi said the continued stay of Oduol in the position of deputy governor under Orengo was "totally untenable".
According to the ODM party MP, the evidently toxic relationship between the two leaders poses a threat to uninterrupted quality service delivery to the residents of Siaya.
"After a careful analysis of the prevailing situation in the County Government of Siaya, unless something drastic is done about the evidently toxic relationship between Governor Orengo and Deputy Governor Oduol, uninterrupted quality service delivery to the people of Siaya cannot be guaranteed," Wandayi said adding that the climax of the Orengo-Oduol war was the ugly and violent disruption of a funeral attended the two leaders on May 13, 2023, in Alego Usonga Constituency.
Wandayi was reacting to a verdict issued by the Siaya County Assembly on graft allegations levelled against the executive by the deputy governor.
The assembly threw out Oduol's petition yesterday terming it a mere witchhunt against Orengo's administration.
Wandayi sided with the members of the county assembly, saying their report was balanced
"The Siaya public, and indeed the entire nation, has been treated to a litany of allegations of corruption and other irregularities in the County Government by Hon. Oduol. Whereas I abhor corruption in all its manifestations, I believe in the sanctity of due process.
"Moreover, in common law, he who alleges bears the burden of proof," Wandayi said.
Wandayi maintained that allegations of corruption must be backed by solid evidence.
"Today in the afternoon, I had an opportunity to read a freshly published report of the Siaya County Assembly on the various allegations levelled against the County Executive of Siaya by Hon. Oduol. It is my finding that the said report is prima facie balanced.
"A careful reading of the report and the recommendations thereof leaves one with no option but to agree with the County Assembly. Allegations of corruption must be backed by solid evidence, he added.
The legislator alleged a hidden hand by ODM opponents in the state of affairs in Siaya.
"There is no doubt that this stalemate has a potential of interfering with the proper functioning of an ODM-led government in a strategic county. This cannot be countenanced. Furthermore, there are signs of a hidden hand of ODM opponents in the escalation of this unfortunate situation," he said.
"These opponents, having starved counties of their equitable share of resources, will capitalize on the slightest opportunity to kill devolution altogether."
In view of the current stand-off, Wandayi said Oduol should tender his resignation without further delay to allow Orengo to pick his replacement.
"It is my advice, both in my official capacity pursuant to Article 43 (1) (b) of the ODM Constitution and as bona fide voter in Siaya, that Hon. Oduol should tender his resignation without any further delay. This would then create room for Hon. Orengo to appoint a replacement with whom he can harmoniously steer the County Government of Siaya," he said.
Siaya MCAs 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.
In what Oduol sees as an attempt to silence him, the MCAs have threatened to impeach him for sabotaging his boss.