April 29th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Homa Bay County workers up in arms against nepotism, corruption

On specific names, he denied that the acting chief officer finance had any blood relationship with Mr Ogwe. Asked whether he himself had a relationship with Mr Koriko, the officer turned hostile, saying he needed time to verify some things and get back to us at a later time.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 23 Jan 2017 14:45 EAT

Governor Cyprian Awiti.

Workers at the Homa Bay County government have sounded the alarm over rampant nepotism at the Governor Cyprian Awiti-led administration which they say is hobbling efforts by diligent officials to discharge their duties. The extent of nepotism in the county government has been revealed in a secret report compiled by disaffected employees at the county who see a direct correlation between the concentration of blood relatives in strategic departments and the high corruption and inefficiencies.

The report, which was made available to the Kenya Free Press, indicates how top officers have hired relatives into strategic positions dealing with finance, procurement, revenue collection and accounts. Governor Awiti has been supplied with the information but is yet to act on the document which tracks in great detail the relationships between the top officers and their kin.

The document plots the top positions at the county on an organogram that looks much like a family tree. The County Auditor Otieno Polo has wife and two children in key positions in the administration. His wife is the Chief Officer for Agriculture, his daughter is the accountant in the Ministry of Roads and son the Sub County Revenue Officer in Ndhiwa Sub County.

The County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe has his wife holding the position of County Pharmacist in charge of all medical supplies. His daughter is the accountant in the Ministry of Roads and nephew the accountant for Trade and Investments. Mr Ogwe's nephew is currently serving as director of finance, responsible for all financial management in the county government given that the Chief Officer has left office to run for the Ndhiwa parliamentary seat.

Engineer Chris Agong, the Chief Officer for Roads, has his wife in the county procurement office, where Ms Beatrice Ogola, the County Executive for Water and Environment, also has a son. Ms Ogola's two sisters serve in the County Land Board and Public Service secretariats respectively. 

The County Executive for Agriculture, Mr Eliud Otieno, has his daughter serving in the department of Water, while the County Executive for Finance David Okeyo has his brother as an accountant in the same department. The Head of Procurement in the County Peter Oyoo has as his secretary his own sister-in-law.

Mr Nicholas Koriko, the County Executive for Roads, has a niece as his secretary in the department and a nephew as the officer in charge of communications in the county government. The nephew is acting as the director of communication, the previous holder of the office, John Oywa, having resigned in 2016 to resume his employment with the Standard newspaper.

When the Kenya Free Press called the acting director of communication to verify the allegations, he said he had never heard of such a report. He conceded that there have been claims of there being widespread nepotism but said the claims were "baseless".

On specific names, he denied that the acting chief officer finance had any blood relationship with Mr Ogwe. Asked whether he himself had a relationship with Mr Koriko, the officer turned hostile, saying he needed time to verify some things and get back to us at a later time.

The information from the workers indicate that other relatives of the top officers are serving in key positions in the County Assembly. Disaffected staff are now compiling a report on financial improprieties and the wealth of top officials, including cars and prime property in Nairobi that the corrupt officials are alleged to have bought in recent years.

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