• 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 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