Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol impeached

William Oduol

Siaya County Assembly on Thursday impeached Deputy Governor William Oduol.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol has been removed from office by ward representatives. 

Oduol was accused of buying a seat worth Sh1 million and other furniture in his office, attempts to use his position to bulldoze junior officials to award tenders to his cronies among other accusations.

If Senate upholds the impeachment, he will be the first deputy county boss to be removed from his seat since the inception of devolution.

“This Assembly resolves to impeach the Siaya County Deputy Governor, William Oduol under Section 33 of County Government Acts 2012, and Standing Orders 71 and 72 on the following grounds,” read the report tabled by the 14-member special committee.

The motion of Mr Oduol’s impeachment was premised on grounds of gross violation of the Constitution and other laws, abuse of office and gross misconduct and misleading the public by giving false information.

On violation of the Constitution, the Special Committee established that Mr Oduol interfered with the procurement of contractors for various road projects in the county and that of supply and delivery of certified eed and fertiliser contrary to provisions of Section 47(1) of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 which states that, “A procurement function shall be handled by procurement professionals whose qualifications are recognized in Kenya.”

The committee that was chaired by the Yimbo East MCA- Mr Francis Otieno further established that Mr Oduol coerced the Head of County Procurement Unit to give him raw evaluation report for the tender on supply and delivery of certified seeds and fertilider, together with unsigned professional opinion despite being advised on the dangers of exposing such documents for a procurement process which had not yet resulted in final selection and award of tender.

On the other hand, the deputy county boss was found liable by unjustifiably relying on the authority of the office of the DG, caused to be changed by coercion, certain specifications in 86 tender documents for roads constructions within the county.

"The committee established that Mr Oduol pushed for changes in specifications to award one contractor with more than one tender projects. He also wanted different companies with same directors awarded more than one tender," said Mr Otiato.

On ground of gross misconduct and abuse of office, the Special Committee established that banking on the authority of his office, Mr Oduol forced incurring of expenses of approximately Sh18 million for purposes of renovating his office, purchase of furniture and office equipment; an expenditure that was not in the budget and therefore not in the procurement plan in contravention of Section 53(2).

A procurement list dated December 18, 2022 seen by Nation shows that Mr Oduol’s office received Presidential Mahogany timber finished in two pack at Sh336,700; bookshelf cabinet at Sh567,700; five pieces of curved coffee tables with stools Sh756,700; executive orthopedic desk chair back and a fully-spring seat at Sh238,840.

The list also had an executive visitors chair back and seat full spring Sh238,840; office mahogany in and out tray at Sh178,200; executive custom made round tables finished in two packs Sh254,800; 12 executive high back orthopedic desk chair in leather (black color) Sh2, 844,000 and a seven-seat custom made executive curved sofa set Sh910,000.

It also captured a Priya executive orthopedic desk chair and seat fully spring at Sh1,120,000, six meters conference table worth Sh1, 051,200  Priya executive visitors chair back and seat fully spring Sh168,000; grooved coffee table Sh211,400;executive custom made desk and fully spring at Sh333,000. 

The Committee further established that in November 2022, Mr Oduol, “While attending Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) meeting at a Hotel in Mombasa, in his personal capacity, caused the county department of Governance and Administration to facilitate him and three other officers whose relevance to ICPAK meeting could not be confirmed as they were not members , apart from the driver whose roles were undoubtedly essential.

According to the assembly report, this was contrary to provisions of Section 46 of Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 (Rev 2016) which states that “A person who uses his office to improperly confer a benefit on himself or anyone else is guilty of an offence.

Mr Oduol was also found culpable of bullying junior officials when he threatened Mr Martin Okwata, County Director of Supply Chain Management of a future harsh working environment for failing to change specifications in certain tender documents.

He further demanded constant and repeated briefings not only on matters of Procurement but also on matters of Finance by constantly and persistently demanding information on county financial transactions directly from the Acting Chief Officer for Finance and Economic Planning Jack Odinga, despite the officer not being directly answerable to him in his duties and responsibilities.

The DG also misled the members of the public that funds allocated towards completion of the Siaya Stadium had been reallocated in the Supplementary Budget I for the Financial Year 2022-2023 it was confirmed that the allocation had been enhanced and not removed as the Deputy Governor claimed.

His fate now lies with the Senate that will either uphold the decision by the MCAs or overturn and subsequently reinstate Mr Oduol back to his seat as the Deputy Governor.