Sam Atandi threatens to lead mass demo to oust corrupt Siaya officials, as EACC digs in

Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi. He has threatened to lead demonstrations against corrupt Siaya County government officials.

Alego Usonga lawmaker Samuel Atandi has vowed to lead a mass demonstration to eject senior officials of the Siaya County government from their offices if they fail to quit within one week.

Mr Atandi claimed officials from former governor Cornel Rasanga’s administration were responsible for alleged wanton theft of public money.

“The cartels from the previous regime are so bold. They think because they stole a lot of money from the government they have become untouchable,” Mr Atandi said.

“They have one week to vacate those offices [or] I will mobilise thousands of members of the public to forcefully throw them out.”

Mr Atandi also noted that the presence of those officials in the offices will hamper an ongoing audit by a seven-member task force appointed by Governor James Orengo.

Mr Atandi claimed that in other counties like Busia and Migori, officials from the previous administration quit, adding that this should also happen in Siaya

“They must leave the offices and allow the audit to be carried out without problems,” he told journalists at his constituency office.

He said stealing taxpayers’ money leaves citizens suffering and the thieves should not be allowed to continue working.

“When funds are lost, the people fail to get the services. The health facilities go without drugs and children fail to go to school,” he said.

Siaya has been in the spotlight since the Nation published an exposé about irregular withdrawals of cash amounting to Sh400 million from the county’s accounts within two weeks.

Detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission visited the Siaya treasury offices on September 29 to collect documents that authenticated transactions carried out between June 1 and September 30.

In a letter to the County Secretary Joseph Ogutu, the EACC demanded various documents to aid in the investigations.

“Pursuant to its constitutional and statutory mandate, the commission is conducting investigations on the alleged corrupt conduct, abuse of office and irregular payments made between 1st June 2022 and 30th September 2022 by the county government officials,” the letter says.

“To facilitate expeditious investigations, kindly provide original documents of the approved budget, approval for payments and work plans, payment voucher/imprest warrants, copies of cheques, payments schedules and receipts, cash book excerpts, bank account details where the funds were deposited.”

Mr Orengo, in a statement, acknowledged that corruption was a problem in the Siaya treasury.

“Indeed, without mincing words, the treasury in Siaya is rotten. The public is aware that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is also conducting investigations of cases of misappropriation within the county government. That is the right thing to do and must be expedited,” said Mr Orengo.