On Friday the consortium of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Siaya County issued a statement calling for the dissolution of the devolved unit known as the County Government of Siaya (CGS) over what they termed as intermittent wrangles.
The CSOs stated that they have been aggrieved by the current turmoil which affects good governance and accountability in Siaya County.
The CSO statement was issued at a hotel in Siaya town and read by the Executive Director of Siaya Muungano Network, Shirleen Adhiambo Otieno.
The CSOs have threatened to immediately launch a signature collection process to petition the President of the Republic of Kenya to dissolve the County Government of Siaya.
They directly accused the leaders of Siaya County from the County Assembly as well as the Executive who have shown avarice and put their self-interests above service to the people.
They cited inappropriate budget-making and implementation processes, and impeachment threats, together with non-adherence to constitutional principles and provisions relating to devolution among others, as bedeviling proper service delivery to the people of Siaya County.
“We’re aware that the Siaya County budget for the financial year 2023/2024 was delayed, and this has been fiddled by the County Assembly. Secondly, existing impeachment threats to the CECMs who don’t comply with the blackmail by the Assembly,” stated Ms Adhiambo.
“Thirdly, MCAs have taken over the budget-making process, implementation and oversight. The MCAs have adopted weekly summons to CECMs, which are used as a way of looking for tenders that can be awarded to the MCAs and their cronies.”
She added: “MCAs are using their authority and self-interest to implement projects that are not even in the approved budget and plans to insert the projects in the supplementary for payment. We’re in a situation where the Executive and the Assembly have shown an insatiable greed.”
On his part, Peter Luya of Tembea Youth Center for Sustainable Development stated that wrangles in Siaya County were putting devolution under threat and therefore called for a speedy solution to the matter.
The CSO leadership issued a three-week ultimatum to Governor Orengo as well as Speaker George Okode to put their houses in order, failure to which the signature collection drive commences.
Since the onset of devolution, disenchantment with the Executive has led to seven successful Impeachments of the Governor. Should a motion to impeach James Orengo be taken to the Senate the outcome is obvious.
Fear that the avaricious Siaya MCAs could be manipulated to table such a motion has placed the Governor on tenterhooks with nightly meetings to placate everyone.
The panic mode for Orengo is exacerbated by the fact that neither the Speaker nor the Assembly has any love for him, outside the monumental financial incentives he offers.
The instability in Siaya could also present a golden opportunity for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party to oil the cogs in a possible takeover from dominance by the fumbling Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party.
Political pundits see the turmoil in Siaya as being manipulated by Kenya Kwanza to stifle the reservoir of income of a certain senior opposition politician. Whatever the truth of the matter, for Orengo, if he thought he had seen it all; the trouble is just starting.