Siaya Water Minister Caroline Onyango impeached after 6 months in office
Siaya County Executive for Water and Sanitation Caroline Onyango has been impeached over gross violation of the Constitution, gross misconduct, and abuse of office, less than six months after she went into office.
The former woman representative aspirant who lost to Dr Christine Ombaka in the Orange party nominations becomes the first member of Governor James Orengo’s Cabinet to be sacked by the county assembly.
The impeachment of Dr Onyango, from Alego Usonga, comes at a time when the relationship between Mr Orengo and his deputy William Oduol, who is from Alego Usonga, is becoming frosty.
Earlier Mr Oduol claimed that there were attempts by some people within the county administration that were keen on ensuring officers from Alego Usonga are kept out of the service.
The findings of the select committee that were tabled before the assembly by East Yimbo MCA Francis Otiato, revealed that the embattled member of the Cabinet failed to honor a summons to appear before the committee.
“After summoning the CEC member to appear before the committee to give her side of the story, she failed to show up. The committee further got reports from the county secretary that she took leave to appear before the county assembly, this shows the level of disregard she gave the assembly,” said Mr Otiato while tabling the report.
Dr Onyango was accused of assaulting a woman who was allegedly found to have illegally connected water from the Siaya Bondo Water and Sanitation Company main pipe in Bondo.
“The best that Dr Onyango should have done is arrest the suspect, let her be arraigned in court and answer to the charges, not taking the law into her hands. Nobody is allowed to take law into his hands, even the police are not allowed,” said Mr Otiato.
He went on: “The victim of assault also appeared before the committee and narrated what she went through at the hands of the CEC member who was in the company of some youths.”
Dr Onyango is also accused of intimidating junior staff in her department.
While supporting the impeachment motion, West Sakwa MCA Tabu Osewe accused Dr Onyango of arrogance and disrespect.
Asembo East MCA Gordon Onguru, supported the motion, saying the act of assaulting a member of the public by a civil servant is gross violation of the office.
“We must set an example. If we allow this as the county assembly, then we shall be setting a bad precedent,” said Mr Onguru.
In her rebuttal, Dr Onyango through her lawyer, Mr Oduol Aluoch, said the allegations had no clear particulars of violations of the Constitution.
“We question why the alleged assault against a female member of the public turned out to be an investigation into the conduct of the CEC member. The CEC member implores the assembly to exercise the principle of fair hearing,” said Mr Aluoch.
He further questioned why an MCA, Mr Otiato, was the one lodging a complaint instead of the member of the public who was allegedly assaulted by the CEC Member.