William Oduol to table ‘secret evidence’ in fight for survival at Senate

William Oduol

Siaya County Assembly on Thursday impeached Deputy Governor William Oduol.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Embattled Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol now says he has a trump card that he hopes will help him overturn a censure Motion after his overwhelming ouster by the county assembly.

The deputy county chief has said he has new pieces of evidence that he intends to present before the Senate that will seal his fate.

"There are other pieces of evidence that I will present before the Senate. They will lay bare the wanton corruption in Governor James Orengo’s administration," said Mr Oduol in an earlier interview.

The deputy governor is also keen to woo the majority strength of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance allied senators who had hinted at standing with him when he was first impeached.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei last month said they were concerned with the happenings in Siaya where the deputy governor was facing ouster owing to his tough stance against corruption in the executive.

“What we have seen is that he is being witch-hunted for exposing corruption, but no one can be impeached for exposing corruption. In fact, he deserves a head of state commendation and we should celebrate him for exposing rot in the county,” said Mr Cherargei in an interview.

The same was echoed by the senate majority whip Boni Khalwale who promised to do due diligence when the matter reaches the senate.

Being salvaged by the Kenya Kwanza battalion in the senate will, however, dent Mr Oduol’s political career in Siaya County, where the ODM party enjoys political dominance.

In an event that the Kenya Kwanza senators use the numerical strength to overturn the decision by the Siaya County Assembly, the UDA mole tag will soil his career in a region considered ODM party leader's, Raila Odinga, political bedrock.

The deputy governor also has the option of approaching the ODM party leadership for a political truce.

Several leaders from Siaya have also called on Siaya senator Oburu Oginga and former Alego Usonga lawmaker Oloo Aringo to step in as elders to broker peace between Mr Orengo and his deputy.

"It is not healthy at all. We are making a public spectacle about our county, we call upon our elders, Dr Oburu and Mr Aringo, to help us bring our sons together," said Mr Peter Muhula, former West Alego MCA.

Mr Oduol had his political debut in 2013 when he contested the gubernatorial seat against former governor Cornell Rasanga. He successful contested the outcome in court, forcing a repeat election, which he lost.

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 seed 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 recognised in Kenya.”

The committee that was chaired by Yimbo East MCA Francis Otieno further established that Mr Oduol coerced the head of the County Procurement Unit to give him raw evaluation report for the tender on supply and delivery of certified seeds and fertiliser, 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 Deputy Governor, caused to be changed by coercion, certain specifications in 86 tender documents for roads constructions within the county.