How Impeached Deputy Governor William Oduol Splashed Millions on Furniture

June 9, 2023

Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol has been impeached, with all 42 members of the Siaya County Assembly voting in favor of his removal from office.

The voting process followed a roll call on Thursday, as directed by Speaker George Okode.

“This Assembly resolves to impeach the Siaya County Deputy Governor, William Oduol under Section 33 of County Government Acts 2012, and Standing Orders 71 and 72 on the following grounds,” read the report tabled by the 14-member special committee that was formed to investigate his proposed removal from office.

The motion for Mr. Oduol’s impeachment was based on several allegations, including gross violation of the Constitution and other laws, abuse of office, gross misconduct, and providing false information that misled the public.

On grounds of gross misconduct and abuse of office, it was determined that William Oduol utilized his position’s authority to incur expenses amounting to approximately Sh18 million for renovating his office, purchasing furniture, and acquiring office equipment. These expenditures were not included in the budget and were not part of the procurement plan, thereby violating Section 53(2) of the relevant regulations.

According to a procurement list dated December 18, 2022, Mr. Oduol’s office received Presidential Mahogany desk finished in two packs, amounting to Sh336,700; a bookshelf cabinet priced at Sh567,700; five curved coffee tables with stools costing Sh756,700; and an executive orthopedic desk chair with a fully-spring seat priced at Sh238,840.

The procurement list also included additional items such as an executive visitors chair with a full-spring back and seat, priced at Sh238,840; an office mahogany in-and-out tray costing Sh178,200; executive custom-made round tables finished in two packs, valued at Sh254,800; 12 executive high-back orthopedic desk chairs in black leather, amounting to Sh2,844,000; and a custom-made seven-seat executive curved sofa set, priced at Sh910,000.

The list also included a Priya executive orthopedic desk chair with a fully-spring seat, priced at Sh1,120,000; a six-meter conference table valued at Sh1,051,200; a Priya executive visitors chair with a fully-spring back and seat, costing Sh168,000; a grooved coffee table priced at Sh211,400; and an executive custom-made desk with a fully-spring feature, amounting to Sh333,000.

The furniture, totaling Sh11,366,213 million, constituted a significant portion of the Sh18 million spent for the refurbishment of William Oduol’s office.

Other grounds for his impeachment included bullying junior officials. He was found to have threatened Mr. Martin Okwata, the County Director of Supply Chain Management, with harsh working environment for failing to change specifications in certain tender documents.

Oduol was also found to have made excessive demands for constant and repeated briefings on not just procurement matters but also finance-related issues. He persistently sought information on county financial transactions directly from the Acting Chief Officer for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Jack Odinga, despite the fact that Mr. Odinga was not directly accountable to him in terms of his duties and responsibilities.

Moreover, the Deputy Governor misled the public by falsely stating that funds allocated for the completion of the Siaya Stadium had been reallocated in the Supplementary Budget I for the Financial Year 2022-2023. However, it was confirmed that the allocation for the stadium had been enhanced rather than removed, contrary to Mr. Oduol’s claim. These instances further contributed to the allegations of misconduct against the Deputy Governor.

Mr. Oduol fate now rests with the Senate, which will have the authority to either uphold the decision made by the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) or overturn it.

If the Senate upholds the decision, Oduol will be removed from his position as Deputy Governor. Conversely, if the Senate overturns the decision, Oduol will be reinstated as the Deputy Governor.

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