Headache for Raila as Siaya Residents Oppose ODM Move

Raila Odinga speaking while accompanied by Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua and other Azimio leaders on Wednesday May 24, 2023
Raila Odinga addresses the media accompanied by Azimio co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
Raila Odinga

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, on Saturday, May 27, faced opposition from a section of Siaya residents over the proposal by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) bigwigs to have Siaya Deputy Governor William Odoul impeached.

Speaking to the media, the residents threatened to stage protests to oppose the decision, which they argued was detrimental to the county.

Further, the residents asserted that they would collect signatures and lodge an impeachment motion against Governor James Orengo, one of Raila's closest allies.

"If they proceed with their plans to impeach Oduol, we will also hit the streets and demonstrate the move. If they impeach him (Oduol), then Orengo must also leave that office.

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

"The Deputy Governor raised the alarm over the misappropriation of county funds, so we can't allow Orengo to continue holding that position after Odoul's sentiments," one of the representatives stated.

Defending their threat to have Orengo impeached, the group argued that the residents elected Orengo and Oduol as a team. They added that kicking one out and sparing the other would promote graft.

The sentiments by the section of Siaya residents came after Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) tabled a motion in parliament to hound Odoul out of office. Gordon Onguru, East Asembo MCA, filed the motion accusing Odoul of gross misconduct and violation of the constitution.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, on the other hand, wrote a letter asking Oduol to step aside. Wandayi also accused Odoul of sabotaging Orengo and the entire ODM Party.

"In view of the foregoing, and without prejudice, I find the continued stay of  Oduol in the position of Deputy Governor under  Orengo totally untenable. Accordingly, it is my advice, both in my official capacity pursuant to Article 43 (1) (b) of the ODM Constitution and as bona fide voter in Siaya, that Oduol should tender his resignation without any further delay."

"This will then create room for Orengo to appoint a replacement with whom he can harmoniously steer the County Government of Siaya," Wandayi stated.

However, on Friday, May 26, Oduol raised the alarm over graft in the county, arguing 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.

"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.

Raila is yet to issue a statement on the leadership wrangles pitting Orengo and Oduol.

A photo of deputy governor William Oduol taken in October 2012.
A photo of Siaya County deputy governor William Oduol taken in October 2012.
William Oduol