Orengo's Deputy Claims Junior Staff Beat Bank Rules to Withdraw Ksh 6M Daily

Siaya Governor James Orengo and his deputy William Oduol addressing the media on November 2022.
Siaya Governor James Orengo and his deputy William Oduol addressing the media on November 2022.
James Orengo

Siaya Deputy Governor, William Oduol, on Friday, May 26, made financial impropriety claims against the Lake region county officials led by lawyer James Orengo. 

During an interview on Citizen TV's show Day Break, Oduol alleged that junior staff would be sent to banks to withdraw close to Ksh6 million daily.

The money, he added, would be withdrawn periodically within a day as officials strived to circumvent the Ksh1 million cap set by the government. 

Withdrawing Ksh 50,000 less, he stated, was the loophole they used to beat the government laws, as Kenyans are required to provide documentation for bank transactions above Ksh1 million.

A photo of Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol addressing  the  iaya County Assembly General Oversight Committeeon April 12, 2023.
A photo of Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol addressing the Siaya County Assembly General Oversight Committee on April 12, 2023.
Photo: William Oduol

"In one day, one junior staff is sent to the bank six to eight times, withdrawing Ksh950,000 each time. This is to circumvent the CBK requirement of going with documents when withdrawing Ksh1 million.

"If you go to the banks with six cheques of Ksh950,000 in a day at different times, then, something must be wrong. Do you want to say that is imprest? This is outright theft," he asserted.

However, Oduol did not provide any documentation to prove his claim. On the other hand, he indicated that he had fallen out with his boss and other county leaders after raising the issues.

CBK's rule on transactions of Ksh 1 million and above was introduced in 2016 to tame acts of money laundering. There have been proposals from entrepreneurs and President William Ruto to have the rule reviewed. CBK is yet to review the law.

The deputy governor also claimed that the lapses were witnessed months after being sworn into office, acknowledging that they had already established a working system.

"There are not many of us who would choose to be part of the status quo and say that we must call them out. If I go, they will be extremely scared," the deputy county boss stated.

Oduol has differed with his boss, James Orengo, in recent months - a fallout that has seen ODM call for the deputy governor's resignation. A plot to impeach him was also reported, with Azimio La Umoja party leader, Raila Odinga, said to be advocating for the plan. 

The county administration and senior Azimio leaders refuted claims made by Oduol, accusing him of attempting to destabilise the governor's administration.

"After a careful analysis of the prevailing situation in the County Government of Siaya, unless something drastic is done about the evidently toxic relationship between Governor Orengo and Deputy Governor Oduol, uninterrupted delivery of quality service to the people of Siaya cannot be guaranteed," National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi stated.

Cheruiyot, Wandayi, Ichung'wah
Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot (Left) National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi (Centre) and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah (Right) during a meeting at Villa Rose Kempiski on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
Kimani Ichung'wah