BOTH DENY WRONGDOING

Kisumu Finance boss, assembly speaker Oloo told to leave office

Embattled finance executive and county speaker told to clear their names

In Summary

• Achar was impeached over claims of incompetence and gross violation of the Constitution.

• Oloo has been charged alongside others with the Sh.4.1 billion Lake Basin Mall graft scandal.

Newly elected Kisumu assembly speaker Elisha Oraro, Kondele MCA Joachim Oketch, Majority leader Kenneth Onyango and their colleagues at the speaker's office in Kisumu on Tuesday
Newly elected Kisumu assembly speaker Elisha Oraro, Kondele MCA Joachim Oketch, Majority leader Kenneth Onyango and their colleagues at the speaker's office in Kisumu on Tuesday
Image: MAURICE ALAL

A civil society organisation wants embattled Kisumu Finance executive Nerry Achar and assembly speaker Onyango Oloo to step aside.

The Transform Empowerment for Action Initiative (TEAM) said Achar and Oloo must clear their names from the allegations levelled against them.

Yesterday, TEAM's George Owuor said all public officers at national and county level should uphold high integrity standards. Achar was impeached by the county assembly over claims of incompetence and gross violation of the Constitution.

Oloo has been charged alongside others with the Sh.4.1 billion Lake Basin Mall graft scandal. He was accused of receiving a Sh17 million bribe to authorise irregularities, which are said to have led to the inflation of the cost from Sh2.1 billion to Sh4.1 billion. Both Achar and Oloo have denied wrongdoing. Oloo was granted Sh10 million bail. 

Owuor yesterday told Nyong’o to implement the county assembly recommendation, which wants Achar axed. He said Achar is in office illegally and added that Nyong’o's failure to act depicts him as a governor who has no regard for the law.

"We want the governor to swiftly appoint a new Finance executive to enable the county to continue with its development agenda," Owuor said.

He reminded Nyong’o that he is holding the governor position in trust for residents, hence the need to listen to their representatives — the MCAs.

On Tuesday, MCAs picked their North Kisumu counterpart Elisha Oraro as the new speaker. The decision led to a commotion as a section of members felt dissatisfied.

Achar was impeached by 37 MCAsKolwa East MCA Steve Owiti tabled the motion on July 30 and a select committee of 16 members was formed to investigate allegations against him.

The committee found him culpable and unfit to hold any public office. It recommended that Nyong'o dismisses Achar with immediate effect. It further called for a probe by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

But the Finance boss on August 5 obtained a court order barring debate on the impeachment motion. On August 8, the MCAs escalated the row by barring Achar from transacting any business with the assembly. The assembly members said they would not honour any correspondence from him.

They noted that the impeachment had been plagued by court orders because, while they had intended to debate on the matter last week, they were blocked from the proceedings. The MCAs said the Finance boss failed to implement the County Finance Act by not collecting requisite revenue leading to budgetary deficits from local streams.

Owiti said Achar failed to comply with the Public Finance Act by refusing to regularly inform the assembly of budget implementation. They blamed this for the pending bills and stalled development projects.

Meanwhile, Senator Fred Outa also waded into the debate, calling on Nyong’o to dismiss Achar. He said the executive does not hold any public office following the impeachment.

Outa accused Achar of incompetence and mismanagement of the finance docket, saying he has been an impediment to county growth. Nyong’o should now appoint a capable person who understands the crucial finance docket, he said.

(Edited by F'Orieny)