Vihiga

By Wilson Abiri

  • Ottichilo fighting for his life in politics as impeachment looms
  • MCAs have vowed never to listen to him again but remove him from office
  • MCAs say Noah Okaya is running the county government and not Ottichilo
  • They want Dr Patrick Saisi, his deputy to be governor as he cools his feet in the cells
  • MCAs want EACC and DCI to come for their guest (Ottichilo) and prosecute him
  • They want him charged for irregular employment of his cronies and irregular sackings
  • The county has over Sh1.8billion in pending bills
  • They have accused him of highhandedness and showing disrespect to MCAs

Embattled Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo has again ‘transferred’ his Chief of Staff, Noah Okaya, to the Nairobi Liaison office in a desperate move to appease the MCAs not to impeach him.

This is not the first time Ottichilo is transferring the ‘Mr Fix it all’ and the ‘defacto governor’ to the Nairobi office, an office he has never reported to upon deployment.

Governor Wilber Ottichilo (left) and his Chief of Staff Noah Okaya (right)

MCAs and county workers have always described Mr Okaya has an impediment in running affairs of the county given that all the decisions made by Ottichilo are made by Okaya.

“For effective operations of the Governor’s office, cooperative engagement by the county executive, continued cordial working engagement between the executive and the county assembly and better liaison with the public; I have resolved to transfer Mr. Noah Okaya to the Nairobi Liaison office with effect from today,” said Ottichilo.

At one point, the MCAs impeached him but he was saved by the courts.

“For effective operations of the Governor’s office, cooperative engagement by the county executive, continued cordial working engagement between the executive and the county assembly and better liaison with the public; I have resolved to transfer Mr. Noah Okaya to the Nairobi Liaison office with effect from today,” said Ottichilo.

Ottichilo added: This is intended to streamline delivery of services by my office and liaison with other county departments and the county assembly. I believe this action will bring harmony and peace within the county government of Vihiga executive, the county assembly and the general public,”

Already 23 MCAs have signed a petition to remove him from abuse over abuse of power, tussle over pending bills with contractors and suppliers totaling to Sh1.8billion, delayed salaries, highhandedness and mismanagement of the county affairs.

A list showing the MCAs who have appended their signatures in readiness for Ottichilo’s impeachment

Following the move, Ottichilo read the riot act to the Vihiga County Assembly Majority leader Vincent Opole at a meeting in Ebusakami Girls High School.

Embalmed Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo

“This boy goes to funerals to tell mourners that I am a failure instead of protecting me from ‘attacks’. Am a bitter man and I must tell him the truth. have given you water at Ebusakami from Maseno and erected flood lights for you but you fighting me,” said a visibly Ottichilo.

He added: “You can now access your homestead with your car after repairing your road that was impassable and you here planning to impeach me. If people are fighting me and collecting signatures to impeach me, I can’t expect you (Opole) to also append your signature to remove me from office,”.

He warned him that if he continues with the move to impeach him, he won’t take development projects to Emabungo since he has the final say in allocation of funds for projects.

During the presser, he lamented that he wrote a letter to the assembly’s speaker, Hasna Mmbone Mudeizi so as to make peace with MCAs but she declined the offer, saying he has sent another letter to her requesting for a meeting with them.

“I have again written to the speaker to requesting for a meeting with the MCAs and to prosecute this matter in a sober and rational manner as the current discussion of this matter in the public domain is tarnishing the name and leadership of the county and more importantly,” said the governor.

“As a consequence of the above, I wish to share with the people of Vihiga County that, all the development money budgeted for in the 2019/20 financial year has now been allocated to pending bills. In next financial year 2020/21, most of the allocation will still go to pending bills,” said Ottichilo.

“It is negatively affecting our development partners who are sponsoring various projects in the county. If this continues, some of them have threatened to withdraw their support.

The public is therefore urged to refrain from drawing conclusions based on unverified documents circulating in the media,” he added.

On pending bills, Ottichilo said after audit the auditor general discovered that a total of Sh1.1billon were eligible pending bills while Sh800 were ineligible bills, saying his administration budgeted Sh450 million in the 2019/20 supplementary budget to clear the debts.

Governor Wilber Ottichilo at a past event

He said following the allocation, Vihiga County residents should not expect any meaningful development since the county’s development expenditure will be used to clear pending bills.

“As a consequence of the above, I wish to share with the people of Vihiga County that, all the development money budgeted for in the 2019/20 financial year has now been allocated to pending bills. In next financial year 2020/21, most of the allocation will still go to pending bills,” he said.

Ottichilo said the Sh650million balance will be factored in the 2020/21 financial year and told suppliers to be patient as he plans to clear the pending bills.

“I have already released Sh139 million of the Sh450million and the rest will be released in tranches every month as per the approved and verified documentation,” read Ottichilo’s presser in part.

 He continued: “The historical pending bills will continue being paid throughout this and the next financial years. To those affected, we call for continued patience because this is the best available option if we are to clear these bills,”

Ends

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