Siaya Governor James Orengo has engaged a high gear in his cold war with deputy William Oduol with an aim to clip his political wings by 2025 to prevent any attempt by the official to run against him in the 2027 poll.
The relationship between Orengo and Oduol has soured following attempts by the deputy governor to push for the implementation of various projects that had been budgeted for during the previous regime.
Orengo had halted several projects particularly in former governor Cornel Rasanga’s sub county of Alego Usonga where Oduol hails, forcing the public to petition the two for immediate action.
Sources in Siaya have revealed to Weekly Citizen that attempts by Oduol to implore the county boss to ensure full implementation of all projects already budgeted for and his concerns about frequent withdrawal of funds from the county Treasury has strained his relationship with his boss.
Last Week Siaya residents led by Alego Usonga ODM party chairman Orwenjo Umidha warned that the continued bad blood between the two leaders would cause disharmony county staff and residents and kill development in the region.
Umidha even threatened that they would mobilize locals for demonstrations should Orengo and Oduol fail to bury the hatchet and forge a cordial working relationship.
“We want them to work together because we elected them together to complement each other in their duties. This case where Oduol only goes to the office to take tea and read newspapers must stop,” Umidha said.
An elder Seline Anyango Okeyo alleged that Oduol has not been able to use his official car on several occasions due to lack of fuel and has been forced to use a motorbike to his home, posing a security risk to his life.
“We are also aware that Oduol has been left out of critical meetings chaired by the governor and all we want are answers because as Alego people we voted for Orengo because of Oduol. Otherwise we would have voted for Gumbo,” Okeyo said.
Following the pressure from the public, Weekly Citizen has obtained exclusive information that Orengo has been forced back to the drawing board, and is planning to unleash heavy artillery to thwart any attempts for a rebellion against him.
“First, Orengo has reached out to ODM leader Raila Odinga to organize a rally in Siaya immediately after he leaves Kilifi on Monday March 13th but unknown to Raila, the motive is to mobilize hundreds of residents to heckle Oduol and to disgrace him in front of Raila to finish him politically,” said an official from Orengo’s office.
The staff also revealed that county treasury has also been ordered by the governor to release Ksh 4.8 million to facilitate the rally whose aim is to fight supremacy wars in Siaya.
The governor is keen to ensure the rally goes on and has been funding a section of local MPs and MCAs, due to his lack of touch with the ground, to pile pressure on Raila and also to have them move around attacking Oduol to incite the public against him.
Some vocal MPs have a budget from the county finances of Ksh 500,000 each while seasoned MCAs are getting Ksh 200,000 each, others Ksh 50,000 each with first term county reps getting as low as Ksh 20,000 each or nothing to help in anti-Oduol warfare.
Some MCAs were overheard protesting that Orengo has discriminated against them through unfair distribution of the loot.
“Orengo’s fear is that Oduol is politically aggressive and could end his career but Oduol is even not keen on running in 2027. It however, beats logic why Orengo would go to an extent of using Chief Finance Officer Jack Odinga to withdraw the huge sums of money to fight Oduol’s spirits yet he has not pronounced himself on 2027.”
An officer at the Finance department said Orengo recently made changes in the docket in a bid to make it easy to withdraw funds despite an advisory of the Finance CCE.
“The CFO is the one calling shots. The CEC has been relegated to the periphery. Things are thick in Siaya,” the official said.
Another female staff at the department said the changes have also been a contributing factor in the feud between Orengo and Oduol.
“It is all futile attempt to switch Oduol off forever but should that happen, Siaya will be finished.”