Spotlight on Garissa deputy governor after Korane barred from office

Dagane was a banker and teacher before joining politics in 2017

In Summary

• Residents say the embattled governor will continue to execute his mandate despite court order. 

• Dagane's relationship with his boss was at one point rocky but they mended fences after the intervention of elders.

Garissa Governor Ali Korane addresses his supporters outside Milimani law courts on Tuesday
CHARGED: Garissa Governor Ali Korane addresses his supporters outside Milimani law courts on Tuesday

With Garissa Governor Ali Korane barred from accessing his office, the spotlight on how to manage the county government is now on Deputy Governor Abdi Dagane.

Dagane, who was until his entry into politics a banker and a teacher, is from the Abdalla clan in Ijara, the southern part of Garissa.

He and Korane were elected on a Jubilee ticket in 2017, promising change. The incumbent was Nathif Jama.

Dagane's relationship with his boss was at one point icy after he accused the county chief of sidelining him in the management of the county. However, the elders intervened and they mended fences.

Since then, they have been working closely, pledging to deliver on their promises to the electorate.

On Tuesday, Milimani anti-corruption chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti ruled that Korane, a former provincial administrator, should not set foot in his office pending the hearing and conclusion of his graft case. 

The governor, who was freed on Sh3.25 million bail or Sh5 million bond, and four members of his administration are charged with misappropriating part of Sh233 million from the World Bank-funded Kenya Urban Support Programme.

The co-accused are Ibrahim shurie, Mohamed Abdullahi, Abdi Bulle and Ahmed Aden.

The Director of Public Prosecutions says some of the money was diverted on different occasions between February 2019 and September 2019 to personal accounts.

Dagane has remained mum on the corruption charges against his boss but maintains his support for Korane's agenda. He refused to discuss the matter when the Star sought his comment.

Korane told his supporters outside the court that he was optimistic that justice will set him free, insisting that he is innocent.

“I want to ask Garissa residents to remain calm and allow the court process to take place. It is my hope that it will be expedited so Kenyans can finally know the truth,” he said.

Some of the residents told the Star that barring Korane from office was inconsequential.

“Korane will continue to influence the day-to-day running of the county affairs, bearing in mind that the order barring him from accessing his office has not taken anything away from him. His powers remain intact,” Abdi Hassan said.

Halima Hussein said the orders had nothing to do with the running of the county government.

“He is not the first governor to be charged in court. We have several others who have also been charged and barred from accessing their physical offices but still execute their mandates from elsewhere. The same will apply to our governor,” Halima said.