Siaya county governor James Orengo has sent County Secretary and all Chief Officers on compulsory leave to pave way for a taskforce to audit the financial systems of the county.
Orengo ordered an audit of financial systems amid allegations of embezzlement of public funds running into hundreds of millions.
Additionally, Orengo overhauled the Finance and Economic Department also reshuffled the leadership of the Environment and Enterprise development departments.
In the county’s Finance department, he named Richard Mungla as the new CEC for Finance.
Further, he urged the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to expedite their investigations of gross financial irregularities in the county so that appropriate action can be taken against those implicated in graft.
Siaya county has been in the spotlight following an expose that the county government lost Sh400 million in suspect deals weeks before the general elections.
Orengo issued a statement confirming that indeed things were not right at the county treasury and that investigative agencies were seized of the matter.
“Indeed, without mincing words, the treasury in Siaya is rotten. The public is aware that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is also conducting investigations of cases of misappropriation within the county government. That is the right thing to do and must be expedited,” Orengo in his statement.
A day after the governor’s statement, officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission visited the county government headquarters and left behind a letter addressed to the county secretary, Joseph Ogutu demanding that his office surrenders a host of documents to the investigators.
The letter, signed by EACC’s Western regional manager, Mogare Oira, said the commission was investigating alleged corrupt conduct, abuse of office, and irregular payments made between 1st June 2022 and 30th September 2022 by the county government officials.
“To facilitate expeditious investigations, kindly provide original documents of the approved budget, approval for payments and work plans, payment voucher/imprest warrants, copies of cheques, payments schedules and receipts, cash book excerpts, bank account details where the funds were deposited,” read the letter dated 29th September 2022.