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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Raila move leaves Kisumu county more divided than he found it

Last week’s attempts by Cord leader Raila Odinga to reconcile Kisumu county governor Jack Ranguma and his deputy Ruth Odinga has backfired.
Ranguma has been embroiled in a supremacy battle with his deputy Ruth over the management of the county with mummurs that Ruth is plotting to topple Ranguma allegedly with the support of Raila.
Whereas Ruth claims Ranguma has since his election perfected nepotism and sidelined her in running affairs of the county, she later said their differences are a result of efforts to seal corruption loopholes in the county.
Attempts by Raila to reconcile the two leaders have failed and Raila has now directed that Ranguma be investigated over alleged corruption. Ranguma supporters now want Ruth to also face the same probe team, a request that Ruth has said will never see the light of the day.
Another contentious issue is Raila’s directive that the embattled Speaker Ann Adul be investigated further. The directive comes months after the ODM party released a report implicating her of corruption and mismanagement of the assembly.
It has now emerged that Raila has directed ODM MCAs to form a committee to investigate corruption allegations against Ranguma. The directive is being seen by Ranguma allies as an attempt by Raila to sneak Ruth to the county’s top leadership through the back door.
The man Raila has tasked with ironing out the differences is the ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen who has been instructed to institute a committee to investigate the accusations raised against Ranguma by members of the county assembly and residents.
Sources say the plot to remove Ranguma and to install Ruth is also being played behind the scenes by the Kisumu senator Anyang’ Nyong’o. It is said Nyong’o was behind the move that drafted a petition seeking to institute an inquiry on the governor. The petition was tabled in the Senate by Nyong’o.
We have information that the 32-page petition was prepared by three members of the Kisumu assembly after a series of secret meetings between the MCAs, Ruth and Nyong’o. The petition accuses Ranguma of nepotism and influencing procurement processes.
A disappointed Raila spoke bitterly during the failed reconciliatory meeting between leaders of the county said MCAs have failed in their oversight role and instead sought favours from the governor.
The meeting failed to reconcile the leaders who accused each other of mudslinging. Those present were Ranguma, Ruth, Speaker Ann Adul, members of the county assembly and the executive.
It was the tough talking Ruth who sources say was responsible for the failure of the reconciliatory meeting when she took on Ranguma head on and criticised him of failing to follow due process in firing the five members of the executive in January.
“You cannot just wake up one day and fire people over incompetence. How were they hired in the first place? The assembly was also responsible in vetting them,” she said.
The five Vincent Kodera of  roads, Barack Abonyo, energy, Stephen Orot, agriculture, Joseph Omulo, finance and Rhoda Obadha of environment were sacked in January over what the governor termed as non-performance.
Well-placed sources now say that a fight over control of county funds is at the centre of the war between Ranguma and Ruth. Whereas Ruth accuses Ranguma of presiding over corruption and massive looting of the county coffers, Ranguma says he is being fought for blocking cartels access to the cash.

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