On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, while addressing a Consultative Meeting that brought together various stakeholders to brainstorm, Governor Orengo decried the wanton corruption perpetrated by a group of powerful individuals who operate like a Mafia in Siaya County. The Governor was addressing the findings of a Report tabled by a task force on January 20, 2023, which pointed to Departments riddled by corruption and wheeler-dealing.
The dream team of Governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo (left) and his Deputy Dr. William Oduol Denge (right) fell out on principle in the war against corruption. Incidentally, their campaign promises hinged on fighting corruption. Photo: KNA
Because Departments are run by individuals it was easy to round in on the people at the heart of these schemes of grand corruption. Flanked by his Deputy Dr. William Oduol Denge, the Governor gave his word that he would fight the cartels with everything that he was worth (and that was a large premium considering that the Governor is a world-acclaimed rights activist and reputable lawyer).
The County boss, then, called on civil society and other stakeholders to join in the war against graft and eradicate the Siaya mafia.
In less than 21 days, however, Siaya Governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo was singing a different song.
Firstly, he made changes to his cabinet and brought in senior officers in the Treasury and Finance Department who had worked under the regime of his predecessor Cornell Rasanga Amoth. Some of the individuals were under investigation by EACC and DCI for theft of close to KES 400 million in the previous regime.
Secondly, Orengo turned around on a promise to take the National Lands Commission to court over the irregular allocation of 3,200 hectares of land in the Yala Swamp to a private investor. It was also the same time that he fell out with his Deputy Dr William Oduol over irregular withdrawals of money marked as imprests from Equity Bank Siaya branch.
In the next three months, Orengo would either abete or stand by as DG William Oduol was haunted for fighting graft.
Millions of shillings allocated to projects including the Siaya stadium (above) have been fleeced while the Governor is watching, probably unable to do anything about it. Photo: Siaya County Press
During the weekend a prominent Luo leader said that people should stop criticizing Orengo and give him room to perform.
Who has been criticizing Orengo and why is he being criticized? Could it be that whatever he is doing currently is out of character and the people are simply pointing out?
Who is running Siaya?