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Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol Has Fallen Out With His Boss Orengo

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It was only a matter of when and not if, Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol has fallen out with his boss James Orengo just six months after the pair were sworn into office.

The boisterous DG is said to have not won the trust of his boss who according to those in the know is uncomfortable with his junior for concentrating on his 2027 bid where it’s expected that Oduol who has previously vied for the governorship post, would attempt to outdo Orengo.

Even as the ODM heartthrob has been traversing the country with his party leader consolidating the ground for Monday 20th, back at his home, the governor is facing “mass action” threats from a section of local leaders who accuse him of halting some projects started by his predecessor and having a strained relationship with his deputy William Oduol.

Among the leaders who have given Mr Orengo a three-week ultimatum to address the two concerns are local ODM officials including the party’s Alego Usonga chairman John Orwenjo and area Maendeleo ya Wanawake chair Patricia Apoli.

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Ahead of the August 9, 2022 elections, ODM  settled on Mr Oduol as Mr Orengo’s running mate owing to the fierce competition from former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo. He had initially opted to battle for the Alego Usonga parliamentary seat against the current MP Samuel Atandi.

Mr Orengo and Mr Oduol have offices in different buildings within the same compound, with the deputy county boss in the old Siaya municipal building and the governor in the new office complex.

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It’s alleged that in a bid to help him handle the rising tension in the county, Mr Orengo has reached out to Mr Odinga to hold an anti-Ruto rally in Siaya. According to reports, the staff also revealed that county treasury had been ordered by the governor to release Ksh 4.8 million to facilitate the rally whose aim was to fight supremacy wars in Siaya.

Critics claim that some vocal MPs had a budget from the county finances of Ksh 500,000 each while seasoned MCAs were 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.

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“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.

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While reacting to speculations that he has resigned amidst reports of the fallout with the governor, Oduol rejected claims.

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“This claim of resignation is fake, obviously desperation is kicking in, I am the deputy governor for the next five years. Wazoe (let them get used to it),” he said.

Oduol said things have gotten worse in Siaya and he was yet to open the lid on the goings-on.

“When I finally speak, the people of Siaya county will be shocked. This administration will be worse than Rasanga’s and I won’t allow it,” he said.

Proponents of Orengo are also accusing Oduol of being used by Ruto to fight the governor. “I will not allow plunder and misappropriation of resources. If this makes me Ruto from within, so be it,” Oduol said.

Oduol also accused his boss of employing a hands-off management style.

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“You can’t run a county when you are hands-off and leave questionable characters to steal unabated. I will smoke them out very soon. This is our county and my county,” he said.

Fighting for power between governors and their deputies has been common in the country.  Starting in the county, Mr Ranguma and his deputy Dr Ruth Odinga would not see eye to eye.

In Kiambu County, former Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his deputy James Nyoro could not work together due to the bad blood between them. In the end, Mr Waititu was ousted and Dr Nyoro took over.

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