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Counties

Police deny Oloo access to Kisumu assembly office

Onyango Oloo
Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Onyango Oloo addressing the media at Jomo Kenyatta Sport Ground in Kisumu on Sept 18, 2019. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA 

Sharp divisions in the county assembly of Kisumu came out in the open Wednesday when police and members of the assembly (MCAs) thwarted an attempt by embattled Speaker Onyango Oloo to access his office.

Mr Oloo, accompanied by his supporters, stormed the assembly precincts and tried to gain entrance but was quickly repulsed by anti-riot police.

"We have no problem with Oloo. Let him be cleared by both the party and the courts then we will gladly receive him," said Seth Kanga, Milimani Market Ward Representative.

But Mr Oloo maintained that he is the substantive Speaker, accusing the MCAs of throwing him out unprocedurally.

"I am still the speaker and the actions the MCAs are engaged in could be challenged in court. They need to follow the right procedures even if they want to impeach me," said Mr Oloo.

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On Tuesday, Kondele Ward Representative Joachim Oketch formally tabled a motion to impeach Mr Oloo who has been barred from accessing the House since last week.

The MCAs also replaced his allies, among them Chief Whip Gard Olima whose place has been taken by a seasoned politician and former Mayor Mrs Prisca Misachi. The Kaloleni Shaurimoyo Ward Representative is to be deputised by nominated MCA Jenifer Obonyo.

Mr Olima, a close ally of Mr Oloo, was one of the MCAs who were physically removed from the House when chaos erupted last week.

Mr Jacktone Ogendo of Nyalenda was elected to deputise Majority Leader Kenneth Onyango who was spared having been on the side that ousted the embattled Speaker.

Nominated MCA Inviolette Adhiambo who presided over Mr Oloo’s ouster was rewarded with an appointment to the Speaker’s panel, as well as East Seme MCA Mr Seth Okumu and his counterpart Mrs Caren Muga.

Mr Oloo, alongside former Lake Basin Development Authority managing director Peter Abuok, Bobasi Member of Parliament Innocent Momanyi and others face allegation of inflating construction cost of Lake Basin Mall

They appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to a Sh4.1 billion graft charge.

The prosecution is accusing the suspects of engaging in a project without planning, willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement as well as abuse of office, among other charges.

Mr Oloo is out on a cash bail of Sh6 million while Mr Abuok and Mr Momanyi were each released on Sh10 million cash bail.

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