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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 24 August 2014


The resignation of the Homa Bay county public service board chairman Ouma Oseko has caught residents and chief officers dumbfounded. Already, lobbying for Oseko’s replacement is in top gear.

In a letter dated August 10 2014 addressed to the governor Cyprian Awiti, Oseko made several allegations against Awiti’s administration and cited lack of support from governor’s office.

In a tough worded letter, Oseko squarely blamed the office of the governor for his unceremonial exit.  The fallout between Oseko and Awiti began when Awiti wrote to him through a letter dated July 16 2013 asking him to confirm various persons, in their employment, notwithstanding the fact that they had not been interviewed and subjected to public vetting. 

Oseko further noted that the positions had not been publicly advertised to meet the requirements of the constitution and the county governments Act. According to the letter, the board deliberated on Awiti’s request and recommended to him in writing that all the positions in issue should be advertised to attract as many candidates as possible and also with a view to giving everybody in the county a chance to compete for these posts. 

However, Awiti rejected the board’s advice and proceeded to retain them and continued to employ others, without the involvement of the board. Oseko’s letter reads in part: “In writing to me your above letter, you showed disrespect to me as the chairman of the Board and completely disregarded the promises of fairness to everybody in the delivery of services that I had spearheaded as the chairman of your campaign team”.

Oseko claims that it was after the alleged illegal employment of the staff that Awiti subsequently engaged and spearheaded a campaign against him accusing him of all manner of ills. “You labelled me a foreigner in the county, a lone ranger, a difficult person and specifically that I had refused to work with you. You forgot the tremendous role and sacrifices that I and several others had played towards your success and eventual inauguration as the first governor of the county of Homa Bay”.

Oseko claims that he gave Awiti unwavering support during his campaigns but the governor has now turned against him. “As your campaign chairman, I steadily steered the committee, with the sole aim of delivering the governorship to you. This I did with total commitment, financially, materially and with unquestioned commitment to you”.

As chairman of Awiti’s campaign committee, he wrote: “I fended off any and all criticism against you from all quarters and stood by you until we achieved our final goal. I stood firmly for you when your opponent masterminded a plan to steal your victory and announce fake results at Rongo.  I led a gregarious effort to defeat the plan, which succeeded”.

Oseko who also claims to have spent huge amounts on money during Awiti’s campaigns further wrote: “When your opponent questioned your academic qualifications, I flew to the United Kingdom with my own funds and proceeded to Manchester University where I had your certificate authenticated by the university registrar and subsequently emailed these to you, in time to allow the party to approve your academic qualification”

To further show the big role he played in Awiti’s victory, he wrote: “When your opponent filed a case to nullify your nomination by the ODM party, I sat up in my apartment in the United Kingdom, and prepared the court papers at night and dictated the affidavit in response to the petition by your opponent, which led to you winning the petition filed against you.

The seemingly bitter Oseko in his letter, revealed how he spent his resources to ensure Awiti won the elections. “I poured in substantial financial resources, time, and material resources to your campaign without thinking or asking for anything from you.  During the campaigns, my own rural house became the campaign headquarters where you met with the campaign team and planned the strategies”.

On how he refused appointment by Awiti in appreciation of the big role he played as chairman of his campaign team, Oseko wrote: “In all the above endeavours and efforts, I never asked for any reward from you.  I refused your gesture to take up any post at the county. I specifically informed you that I was running a busy law practice firm and had other investments in Nairobi that could not permit me to take up a full time job in the county. You are aware that I only accepted the post of the chairman of the public service board on a part time basis, to help you set up your administration and only at your own insistence.  On two previous occasions, I had totally refused to take up this post”.

In conclusion, Oseko wrote: “I believe that in the light of all the above, it is quite clear and in order that I tender my resignation with effect from today. I hope that my resignation will give you an unlimited opportunity to continue carrying out your mandate as the governor of the county of Homa Bay. I do not want to stand in front of you in any way whatsoever, whether rightly or wrongly in the discharge of your duties. I will still remain true to my beliefs and calling as a professional without succumbing to any intimidation from any source”.

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