Migori County ousts embattled Speaker Boaz Okoth

Migori County Assembly Speaker Boaz Okoth has on Tuesday evening been impeached by MCAs over graft and gross misconduct.

A total of 46 MCAs turned up while 11 chose to skip the session all together while two abstained and two voted no for the matter.

Bukira Central MCA Mathews Chacha, who has been the Deputy Speaker will now take over from Boaz Okoth.

Muhuru Bay MCA Hevron Maira who tabled the motion said Okoth had demonstrated gross misconduct and abuse of office when he was charged on February 3 at Migori High Court alongside seven other co-accused over breaking inside Chief Finance officer Evans Ogutu’s office.

Peter Mijungu, West Kanyamkago MCA said Okoth’s time “had come, he has been using uncouth means to reign over us. What he did at the finance office was a shame to this house.”

South Sakwa MCA Ken Ngoro said Okoth has been demeaning members and said the decision was unanimous and they will not allow him back in office.

MCAs who spoke in support of the motion said it was God’s time to send Okoth home after earlier attempts to impeach him failed, including attacks by goons during sessions.

Kaler MCA Thomas Akungo and Kachieng MCA Brian Osodo defended the speaker saying he was not given chance to be heard and he had pleaded not guilty to charges in court, which made him innocent until proven guilty.

Nominated MCA Grace Oyamo said because of abuse of office, they have been living with low funds and surviving on fuliza and mobile loans and can’t afford simple basic things.

During the sitting, Boaz had attempted to access the Assembly when he was turned away by Sergeants-at-arms and staff.

Last Thursday, Okoth and seven others denied charges of breaking into assembly finance offices and stealing equipment and files.

Okoth and others appeared before Chief Magistrate Dickson Onyango after they were arrested on Wednesday dawn by police in assembly premises.

Okoth, Philip Ochieng’, Bonface Otieno, Peter Okinyi, John Harun, Vincent Otieno, Jackline Odira and Clifford Ochieng’ appeared as first to eight accused person respectively.

They were charged with breaking into Migori County Assembly Finance office belonging to Evance Ogutu and an alternative charge of handling stolen property worth about Ksh 100,000 which included three computers which were two CPUs, a monitor one and files.

The incident on happened in the night of February 2.

All accused persons denied the charges and were released on Ksh 200,000 bond and one surety, or a Ksh 100,000 cash bail.

The case will be mention on February 25 and the hearing on March 15.

This was not the only case he was facing in court earlier two petitioners moved to court seeking to stop Okoth, his deputy Chacha Matthews and two MCAs in House committees from transacting businesses in the county assembly until they are cleared of corruption cases.

Under a certificate of urgency, the petitioners Michael Kojo Otieno and Evance Otieno Oloo sought orders from the Employment and Labour Relations Court to bar the speaker and his deputy from holding their current positions.

This followed Okoth and 13 co-accused who on December 2, 2020 appeared before Kisumu Chief Magistrate Peter Gesore and faced counts of corruption related charges,

Among the charges are abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption and fraudulent acquisition of public property, together with suppliers and contractors, as well as failure to comply with procurement laws and mismanagement of public funds.

In 2013, Okoth was elected as North Kadem MCA on Agano Party and was elected a deputy speaker and later acted as speaker in 2015 until the last election when speaker Gordon Ogola was impeached.

In 2017 he defended his MCA seat, but resigned shortly afterwards after he was elected as speaker.

  

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