The Kisumu County government has sacked five senior staff over allegations of graft and misconduct. Among those sent home in the purge include Naashon Oguya, the Public Service Board chairman and his deputy Betty Asuna; Margret Ouma, the Acting Chief Officer in charge of Economic Planning; Ms Atieno Otieno, the county’s Director of Communications and Acting Chief Officer for ICT; and Beatrice Omondi, the head of Human Resources.
According to Olang’o Onudi, the Kisumu County Secretary, Mr Oguya and Ms Asuna have been interdicted over claims of fraud and abuse of office while the others have been sent on a 90-day compulsory leave pending investigations.
A letter issued by Dr Onudi on June 4 indicated that the two – Oguya and Asuna – had been relieved of their duties starting May 30 when they appeared in court to answer to charges. The case against them will be heard on July 25, 2018.
“It has been reported to this office that you were arrested and charged in a court of law with the offense of Conspiracy to defraud contrary to Section 317 of the Penal Code, Abuse of office contrary to Section 101 (2) of the Penal Code, and false claims by persons employed in the public service contrary to Section 100 of the Penal Code,” read the letter by Onudi according to an article in the Standard.
“In view of the foregoing, you are hereby interdicted from exercising the duties of your office with effect from May 30, the date you were charged, pending finalisation of your case.”
The two chief officers (or members of the County Executive Committee -CECs) – Atieno Otieno and Margaret Ouma – and the HR boss – Beatrice Omondi – were sent on compulsory leave pending investigations into claims of misconduct.
In their suspension letter signed by Dr Onudi on June 4, the three were ordered to give reports on the status of their offices before handing over.
In May, reports appeared online alleging that Atieno Otieno had given out Kshs 1.5 million to her husband during a 2-day team building exercise held in Mbita.
Atieno Otieno has been with the Kisumu County government from January 2017 having joined from the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development where she’s the Head of TV Programming. With long experience as an established broadcast media practitioner.
Atieno Otieno, who’s been handling the county’s ICT docket since the merger of the ministries and eventual departure of Michael Onyango last year, previously served for over 6 years at Royal Media Services (RMS) as a TV Producer and Director and also led the team working on Citizen TV’s ‘The Angels Cafe‘, a children’s magazine show and also hosted an Arts and Culture Show that was on air for 6 years and later produced the fashion and design TV game show – ‘The Fashion Show.’