Siaya MCAs endorse Governor Orengo Cabinet nominees, but ironically cite some as unsuitable

Governor orengo

Siaya Governor James Orengo.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Siaya County Assembly has finally endorsed the Cabinet list of Governor James Orengo.

However, the MCAs in an annexure cited some of the names of the nominees as unsuitable to serve.

In what seemed to be pressure from the Executive to pass the names, the assembly cited shortcomings of the nominees and warned that they did not meet the threshold.

Mr Benedict Abonyo who is the former Director of Finance at the Judiciary, was nominated CEC for Finance, but according to the report from the Committee of Appointment, he did not meet the threshold of integrity test.

Gross misconduct

His contract at the Judiciary was terminated on grounds of gross misconduct at a time when Sh2 billion was allegedly misappropriated at the judiciary.
Mr Abonyo, earlier insisted that his termination in 2014, was wrongful and subsequently he has filed a case against the Judicial Service Commission.
“The Committee noted that the nominee was dismissed from Office as Director Finance for the Judiciary of Kenya in 2014. The nominee informed the Committee that he had moved to court to challenge his dismissal, and that the matter was still pending in court,” read the report by the Committee on Appointments.
The report further stated that “The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee further documents that the nominee made advanced payments to contractors totaling to Sh126,703,827.”

Other than Mr Abonyo, the report says Mr Agunda Ochanda who was nominated for the position of the CEC Governance and Administration does not have a first degree from a recognized university in Kenya according to the Constitution.
“The nominee did not have a first degree as required by the County Government’s Act 2012,” read the report.
Dr Martin Odhiambo Konyango, nominee for Health according to the report failed in demonstrating his grasp of knowledge on the devolved system of government.
The committee further stated that Dr Odhiambo lacked knowledge of policies, legislations, plans and programmes of the Public Health Sector in general and the County Health Systems.
Dr Caroline Onyango who will be taking over the Water and Sanitation docket showed inconsistency in her documents; each document had different names that raised concerns from the committee.
While presenting their reservations over the appointments, North Ugenya MCA Benard Adala faulted the nominees saying the list did not include the youths.
“The youths are not represented in the cabinet. I believe as we pass the list we call upon the executive to consider youths in other areas,” noted Mr Adala.
On the suitability of the candidates, the lawmaker also stated that the majority of them failed to demonstrate knowledge and the experience.

“The ten years’ experience is overrated. The masters and the PhDs that the nominees had were also overrated because they could not candidly explain some of the things they intend to do,” he noted.
Sigomere Ward lawmaker Andrew Omwende also cast aspersions on the list of the nominees stating that it lacked a representative from the People Living With Disability (PWDs).
“We need to know whether there were PWDs who applied and how the selection was done. PWDs are also people and they have a right to be in Siaya County like any other place in Kenya,” said Mr Omwende.
South Uyoma Ward MCA Booker Washington, while supporting the list of the vetted nominees, said the executive requested the assembly to pass the names in order to allow work to go on in Siaya.
“If development of the people who elected us will be realized by approving the list of the nominees despite their shortcomings, then let us pass them. The executive settled on them, let us allow them work for the people,” said Mr Washington.
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