The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has trained its guns on Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya over reports of his acquisition of a hotel in Kisumu worth Ksh250 million.
It is suspected that Oparanya, the current head of the council of governors, bought the St John Manor hotel, a three-star facility located along the Nehru road in Kisumu city, using funds embezzled from the county kitty.
The hotel is located in prime land, alongside the Kisumu Yacht Club and Impala Sanctuary, and it is said to be a place of choice for Governors from the Lake Basin region when holding meetings in Kisumu.
The Star newspaper estimated that it costs between Ksh6000 and 9000 to spend a night in the facility.
Mr. Oparanya on Sunday dismissed the EACC threat, terming it a fishing expedition and a waste of time because he neither owns the hotel nor is he interested in the said hotel.
Contacted, Oparanya denied having any knowledge of the accusations and denied having anything to do with the said hotel.
"There is nothing wrong with me owning a hotel. Even if I owned it, I would gladly say so. What is wrong with owning a hotel?" he was quoted by the publication.
Governor Oparanya who has so far held an enviable record in his county might find these accusations haunting his political career and even hurting his chances of running for the top seat in 2022.
The recent rule about governors accused of corruption being barred from office is already causing nightmares amongst many governors, with Governor Ferdinand Waititu of Kiambu County and Lenonkulal of Samburu county being the first casualties.
Just last week, the council of governors protested the declaration, saying that it was a sure way to incite emotions in the public.
"The council of governors calls for respect for existing laws and laid down legal procedures. Arraigning a governor and denying them access to their offices will only emotionally charge the public," Oparanya stated during a press conference.
It remains to be seen the next step that EACC will take concerning the accusations.
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