Senators warning shot over Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol’s impending ouster

Siaya Governor James Orengo (left) and his deputy William Oduol (right) at a past function. Senators have fired a warning shot at Siaya Members of County Assembly (MCAs) over their plan to impeach Deputy Governor William Oduol, cautioning that any plot to oust him on frivolous grounds will be resisted.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group.

Senators have fired a warning shot at Siaya Members of County Assembly (MCAs) over their plan to impeach Deputy Governor William Oduol, cautioning that any plot to oust him on frivolous grounds will be resisted.

Those who spoke to Nation yesterday said they were concerned about the happenings in Siaya, where MCAs on Monday approved Mr Oduol's ouster.

The Assembly formed a 14-member special committee that will investigate the allegations levelled against the deputy governor and table its report within 10 days. 

Yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Dr Boni Khalwale told Nation that they were concerned about the events in Siaya.

"We have heard what is happening in Siaya with concern. To have reached where it has reached, it means there must be a problem and that’s exactly why Senate was created,” Senate Majority Whip, Dr Boni Khalwale, told Nationyesterday.

"We shall process it when it comes. Obviously, as the Chief Whip, I have the responsibility and I’ll discharge it without fear or favour," the Kakamega Senator said.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said they sense a sinister motive in Mr Oduol's ouster, given that he had made corruption allegations against the James Orengo administration.


"What we have seen is that he is being witch-hunted for exposing corruption, but no one can be impeached based on exposing corruption. In fact, he deserves a Head of State commendation and we should celebrate him for exposing the rot in the county," Mr Cherargei said.

He went on: "So, unless the MCAs’ claims are well substantiated, Senate will protect the deputy governor."

Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka said the House will stop the removal of Mr Oduol from office should they find malice in his ouster. 

"We will interrogate the matter without fear or favour, based on merit, and I will stop it if I find it’s only victimisation," Mr Onyonka said even as his Embu counterpart Alexander Mundigi said the Senate will hear both parties and make a sound determination. 

 "We shall hear both parties and act accordingly," he told Nation yesterday.

Mr Cherargei faulted Siaya MCAs for failing to adhere to the principles of natural justice and rushing to impeach the deputy governor without a proper hearing.

"As a senator, I can confirm to you that we shall look at those charges and if they are frivolous, fictitious and don’t hold water we shall rubbish them."

"Personally I don’t know William Oduol, he is not a member of UDA but we are proud of him because we want to protect our counties. If we agree with the county assembly on such charges then we shall be allowing devolution to be killed," the Nandi Senator said.

He noted that counties were going down because of corruption and if the MCAs will impeach the DG because of a political witch-hunt, the impeachment will be blocked by Senators.

"Every Kenyan has an obligation to expose corruption and the president has committed to weed out corruption in this country."

"Why is it that after exposing corruption in the county government he is now being branded as a UDA member, that’s just to weep political emotions," Mr Cherargei said.

Mr Oduol had been expelled from Raila Odinga's ODM party on Sunday at a Siaya branch meeting attended by Mr Orengo last Sunday.

The party has been faulted by the Deputy Governor's supporters for rushing to recommend his expulsion even without giving him a hearing, a move that declares him guilty of charges against him.

The resolutions to have Mr Oduol expelled were read by Mr Orengo's Chief Officer for Water Mr Walter Okello after Mr Oloo Okanda, his political adviser moved the motion to kick the DG out of the party.

Mr Oduol has been vocal against corruption at the devolved unit, something that has made him rub shoulders the wrong way with ODM honchos.

"Millions of funds are transferred to Siaya County imprest account then withdrawn by different officers for non-existent activities. In the period of 1st July to 30th September 2022 (3 months) a total of Ksh. 159,200,000.00 were withdrawn from the imprest account, authorized by the acting chief officer, finance, Jack Odinga," Mr Oduol states in documents filed at the Assembly.

He advises the committee to summon both Jack Odinga and the Head of IFMIS over the matter.

"There have been payments to individual employees and staff accounts which involve transfers to junior staff’s personal bank accounts, the juniors are then ordered to withdraw the money and handover to some specific finance staff."

"The said junior staff have since recorded statements on the same with relevant investigative bodies and are very much available to do so."