WESTERN

Wangamati says impeachment motions are extortion sprees

Governor was facing an impeachment motion over what civil society claims was graft and abuse office among other allegations.

In Summary

• Wangamati said most of those who come up with such petitions are always out to extort governors or cause political disorder. 

• This comes at a time when  a clip revealed how Wangamati allegedly offered a petitioner Sh800,000 to withdraw an impeachment petition tabled against him.

Bungoma Governor Wycllife wangamati and Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi at a funeral in Kaptama
IMPEACHMENT: Bungoma Governor Wycllife wangamati and Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi at a funeral in Kaptama
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has termed impeachment motions against county bosses as extortion sprees by civil society and some MCAs.

Wangamati said most of the petitioners who come up with such petitions are always out to extort governors or cause political disorder. 

“This petitions  are enterprise of extortion by rent seekers,  a waste of  time and political disorder," the governor told the Star through his communication director Tim Machi on Monday.

His statement comes at a time when  a clip in possession of the Star revealed how Wangamati allegedly offered a petitioner Sh800,000 to withdraw an impeachment petition tabled against him in the assembly.

In the clip,  Wangamati is heard  pleading with Moses Lukoye  to take the amount  which the petitioner agrees to.

The  details of the voice clip first surfaced when lawyer Henry Wasilwa, representing Wangamati during the public hearings, threatened  to unleash it, accusing the petitioners of soliciting for bribes.

“Chair, I have damning evidence which I can produce to show  that the petitioners are maliciously prosecuting this petition and even solicited a bribe ,” Wasilwa said during the proceedings

Machi refused to comment about it, saying, ”I don’t want to comment about a clip I have not seen".

“It is not the first time they have tried to extort from the  governor and he keeps on telling them to do whatever they want despite the offer they bring on table,”Machi added on the phone.

The clip that is in Bukusu dialect is said to have been recorded in a hotel in Eldoret.

In the said audio clip that records Wangamati, Lukoye and a third person , the negotiations revolve around  an attempt for the petitioner to drop the push  to  impeach Wangamati. The two agree and the governor is heard asking Lukoye to count if the money is the agreed amount .

After counting the money and agreeing, the governor pleads with Lukoye to keep the friendship and always liaise with him when such matters arise rather than petitioning or taking  legal action..

Lukoye said despite receiving the cash, he still prosecuted his petition before the assembly

“What they should be arguing is whether the money I was given stopped me from prosecuting the pettion to the end. I still provided evidence against the governor,” he said

Wangamati was facing an impeachment motion over what civil society claims was graft and abuse office, among other allegations.

Nyukuri Barasa, who has also petitioned for the removal of Wangamati, denied pocketing any money from the governor .

“My brother, I didn’t pick any money from the governor and if there is any clip or voice alleging it is me, then it was facbricated ,” Barasa told the Star on the phone

Bungoma County Assembly Public Administration and ICT Committee last week claimed said petitioners in the impeachment petition  were just doing business.

Chairman Okumu Majimbo and Majority leader Joseph Nyongesa said they threw out the petition after it lacked merit.

Majimbo said Barasa of Torch Africa and Lukoye did not present sufficient evidence against Wangamati.

“They were just doing business with the county government. They wanted to make money and we got the audio clips and CCTV footages from hotels where they exchanged pleasantries, including cash, so that they could drop out the petition,” he said.

Edited by EKibii