Kenya: Plan to Impeach Ottichilo on as 23 Ward Reps Sign Motion

26 February 2020

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo is a man under siege as plans by members of the county assembly to impeach him on various grounds gather momentum.

As of Wednesday, the governor was making frantic efforts to avert the motion of impeachment when it emerged that at least 23 out of 38 MCAs had appended their signatures on the document that would set the stage for his impeachment.

And for the first time since disgruntled MCAs mooted the idea of kicking him out of office, Dr Ottichilo Wednesday said he was aware of the plans but defended his administration saying it has achieved a lot since taking office in August 2017.

"They say they want to send me home. We need to work together," said the governor.

He singled out Majority Leader Moses Opole whom he said was going round in funerals "claiming I am not working".

The governor went ahead to list a number of projects initiated by his administration in the last two years, such as the erection of high mast lights, the ongoing Sh1.8 billion water project, construction and equipping of youth polytechnics, and re-carpeting of roads.

His sentiments came as Majority Whip Victor Ijaika confirmed the impeachment plans saying the move will provide room for the assembly to address problems in the county.

The motion was drafted after an informal meeting held by the ward representatives on Friday last week.

The MCAs accuse the governor of irregular procurement, abuse of office, gross misconduct and failure to implement the approved budget.

In the motion, the MCAs note that the assembly approved Sh450 million through a supplementary budget to pay pending bills but this had not been done three months later.

In a recent press statement, however, Dr Ottichilo absolved his administration and instead blamed the National Treasury and the Controller of Budget.

MASS SACKINGS

The ward representatives are also accusing the governor of imprudent use of public funds, irregular hiring, massive sacking of staff and gross violation of the Constitution.

Other grounds include failure to hold county executive committee meetings, disobedience of court orders, a growing wage bill despite the mass sackings and the irregular inclusion of 753 workers in the county's payroll.

They further accuse Dr Ottichilo of irregular procurement of a two-hectare piece of land at Indeli village for Sh23.9 million, a figure they claim was inflated.

The land is being used to construct the governor's official residence.

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