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After one election is won, or lost, politicians are always busy preparing for the next. They rarely find time to revisit their manifestoes. The honest ones delegate duties to qualified personnel to follow up on the manifestos while the dishonest get down to looting.

James Aggrey Bob Orengo falls under the category of honesty. Immediately after the results of the 9 August 2022 Elections were announced the Governor put up a team of competent officials to follow through on the Nyalore manifesto.

That team was headed by none other than the technocrat CPA Dr William Oduol Denge and within three months in office had demonstrated a willingness to fight graft and clean up the mess left over by the first Governor Cornell Rasanga Amoth.

You could feel the upbeat mood of hope and expectation running through the residents of Siaya County. In the diaspora to be called an indigene of Siaya came with distinctive honour and an aura of mystery. After all, Siaya is the home of Raila Odinga, Barrack Obama and Musa Juma.

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But immediately after three months in office cracks began to appear in the Orengo administration. Some senior officers discovered the loopholes of looting public coffers left by the previous regime and like any other ordinary thief they were convinced that they could mask their footprints and never be found out.

Sadly, the Swahili saying that a thief has forty days has an uncanny ring of truth. By March 2023 Dr. Oduol was fighting cartels in the Orengo administration that were looting public coffers at a whirlwind pace.

The cartels fought back by making Orengo believe Oduol was undermining his leadership and sabotaging his government.

The sham impeachment at the county Assembly and Senate upholding the rule of law are now ugly facets of our sad history.

During this period as DG William Oduol was being ejected from the Executive and saved by the Senate, several qualified personnel from Alego-Usonga were subjected to a witch-hunt.
CECM Water Dr. Julie Onyango was sacked. CS Joseph Ogutu was warned. CO Roads Eng. James Onyango was sent on compulsory leave. CO Education Henry Oloo and CO Tourism Elizabeth Oduor were sent on compulsory leave.

Did the removal of these competent staff improve service delivery? No, it only opened the door for cartels to make inroads into all the departments of Orengo’s government.

Today as we put the Governor on the pedestal of the court of public opinion we must accord him the benefit of the doubt. Is the Governor really aware of the cutthroat competition among his lieutenants to control sensitive departments? Maybe yes maybe not.

But as the infighting continues staff are complaining of a lack of transitioning between job groups and delayed payment of salaries. Services at Siaya County Referral Hospital are below par and the stadium needs to be completed.

When officers in the Nyalore administration are not performing their duties the buck still must stop with the Governor. 

The Luo have a saying that goes: Jatelo ogongo ogwari.

DalanewsKE
Editorial Thursday 11 April 2024

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