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Governor Ottichilo interdicts secretary over Sh7.4m spending



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Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo has interdicted his County Secretary Francis Ominde over failure to account for Sh7.4 million spent during a bonding session of the executive and members of county assembly (MCAs).

Dr Ottichilo, in a letter to Mr Ominde, asks him to hand over to Trade Chief Officer Philip Gavuna, who will serve in acting capacity for six months.

Mr Ominde confirmed receiving the letter but termed the move an illegality.

He said he will not leave office over the meeting that took place in Nairobi in March.

Dr Ottichilo said the funds remain unaccounted for seven months later, yet they were to facilitate the bonding session.

“You have failed to account for the Sh7.4 million which was given to you on March 27, 2018 to cater for an interactive meeting between the county assembly and the executive,” he told Mr Ominde in the letter.

“This is in contravention of Public Finance Management Act, 2012, regulation 93(5). I hereby request the County Public Service Board to constitute a committee to investigate the allegations and submit its findings no later than six months from the date of this letter.”

Dr Ottichilo listed several other offences allegedly committed by the secretary.

They ranged from dishonesty, alleged failure to cooperate with the EACC on corruption-related investigations, irregular appointment of staff and failure to manage county government information.

Mr Ominde dismissed the allegations and said that infighting is affecting service delivery by Vihiga.

He said it is time for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC) and an independent body to look into the allegations.

“There is no provision in law for the interdiction of a county secretary,” he noted.

“I have received the letter but I am not going to honour illegal communication. I don’t know who misadvises the governor.”

The troubles between the governor and the secretary seem far from over.

In August, Dr Ottichilo sacked Mr Ominde through a press conference, accusing him of leaking government documents.

In May, the governor wrote to the official warning him of sacking for insubordination, failure to take orders from the government, violation of the law and incompetence.

Following the sacking in August, Mr Ominde sought redress in court and returned to office after an order favouring him was issued.

The case has not been concluded.