On June 2, Benedict Omollo, County Executive Cabinet member in charge of finance, defended Siaya Governor James Orengo’s administration, stating that the claim by his deputy on the misappropriation of Ksh100 million was false and baseless.
Speaking on Spice FM, the CEC stated that Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol was economical with the truth when alleging that junior staff would be sent to banks to withdraw close to Ksh6 million daily.
“We have only transferred Ksh65 million to the imprest accounts for the period from November (2022) to May (2023).
“Between April and May 2023, we did not transfer any amount because we have frozen that account with plans to re-establish it,” Omollo stated.
He rebuffed claims that the imprest account was being abused, noting that only emerging and urgent issues were paid from it.
Omollo alleged that county finances had been abused by the previous administration led by former Governor Cornel Rasanga and that the Orengo administration made great strides to improve financial management.
“We need to be very clear that imprest systems are not gifts for people to walk away with,” Omollo remarked.
He, however, claimed that there were attempts to defraud the county of Ksh5.4 million and again of Ksh2 million, but the fraud attempts were curbed.
Further, he castigated the deputy governor for not airing his grievances in the county cabinet but in the public domain.
“When you get something, and you are not satisfied, you ask for an explanation and escalate.
“Not everything needs to find its way into the public domain,” Omollo noted.
On May 26, Oduol claimed that junior staff in the county were being used to withdraw Ksh950,000 several times daily.
"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 (Central Bank of Kenya) 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," Oduol stated emphatically.