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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 17 May 2015

MP wants Vihiga deputy governor out of office


Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu has asked the Vihiga county assembly to instigate the removal from office of deputy governor Caleb Amaswache over alleged misconduct while on a trip to Singapore.
The MP dismissed Governor Moses Akaranga’s assertion that the removal of his deputy will lead to constitutional crisis and criticised Akaranga for failing to prevail on his deputy to step aside as he is being investigated.
Chanzu who has declared that he will challenge Akaranga for the governorship, explained that Article 181 used to remove a governor can still be applied on the deputy. Public money was spent during the Singapore trip that failed to yield fruits and the assembly should instigate the removal of Amaswache, he said.
The trip cost the county Sh2.3 million and the assembly has asked the board to surcharge the suspended clerk Josephat Musambayi who planned the Singapore trip. Musambayi and Amaswache were accused of gross misconduct by the assembly.
The two officials are currently facing a probe over their conduct by an ad hoc committee of the assembly chaired by North Maragoli ward MCA Andrew Ahuga.
The vice chair to the committee Nathan Kamidi was told to step aside until the committee clears its investigations. He said when the clerk was being investigated, he was asked to step aside. The deputy governor should also step aside because he accompanied the clerk to Singapore.
Already, Musambayi has been suspended indefinitely until a forensic audit into the assembly’s account clears him of any wrongdoing. This comes in the wake of public protest against Amaswache’s continued stay in the office of the deputy governor.
Signatures are being collected as a section of the public petitioned the assembly to impeach him. However, Governor Akaranga reportedly asked the public to stop collecting the signatures and promised to prevail upon his deputy to change his conduct when in public.
He argued that sacking Amaswache would lead to a constitutional crisis because the law does not explain the process of sacking a deputy governor.
During the Singapore trip last month, Amaswache was deported to the country by Singaporean authorities for failure to produce travel documents and a letter showing that he had been invited to attend a conference on affordable housing.
 Amaswache has, however, denied being drunk and disorderly at Langi International Airport.
Musambayi will now face the probe over corruption allegations that have left the assembly loosing up to Sh300.5 million. The assembly adopted a report by an ad hoc committee that presented Musambayi’s corruption allegations to a forensic audit by other investigative arms of government.
 The bodies include the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Public Procurement Oversight Authority, Senate and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
 “He will only get his job back if the bodies clear him of any wrong doing,” says a report by the ad hoc committee.
Musambayi is also fighting to clear his name over accusations of irregular procurement, misappropriation of funds, insubordination and violation of the constitution.
Although the assembly suspended the clerk pending further investigations, a group of members of county assembly led by Abdallah Chogo said they will push the county assembly service board into writing him a sacking letter.
The board has also been asked to freeze all his personal accounts and pay him half his monthly salary for the period he will be on suspension.
 The assembly found that the imprest and car loan and mortgage accounts have grave irregular withdrawals done by the embattled clerk who added up as the accounts administrator.
The deputy governor is on record doubting whether all the people who were to travel with him travelled despite banking hefty per diems. “They should also bring their passports as proof that they travelled,” Amaswache is quoted in the report.
 Kamidi, a nominated MCA argued that the suspended clerk could not carry the ‘stealing’ cross alone and called for more heads to roll.

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