Push and shove in Vihiga governorship politics

Vihiga governor Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo is now a relieved man following the collapse of an impeachment motion against him.

It should be recalled that recently, 23 of 38 members of the county assembly appended their signatures to pave way Dr. Ottichilo’s ouster.

The county boss swung into action and moved to the High Court to stop his looming ouster.

And after several failed attempts to have talks with MCAs, he succeeded in bringing a number of them around a dialogue table and they agreed to drop the motion.

He then withdrew the case from court, further pledging to deliver on his projects.

He said, “This impeachment threats locked me from delivering my mandate to my people.”

“After holding talks with them (MCAs), we have agreed to put aside our differences and now it’s time to deliver what we are required to.”

Dr. Ottichilo pledged to resume and finish some of the projects that were started before he assumed office.

However, his circus of ordeal has now turned to bite the backs of some of the MCAs who championed for his ouster.

The MCAs have now dewhiped the deputy speaker and Shiru Ward member of County Assembly Nickson Butiya, the house Majority leader and Emabungo MCA Moses Opole and the house chief whip Victor Ijaika who also serves as Lugaga wa Muluma ward representative.

The motion, tabled by Tambua MCA Manoah Mboku, wanted Mr. Butiya out of the deputy speaker position on grounds of abuse of office.

He also wanted Butiya deprived of the position for seizing the powers of the committee chairman on selection and incompetence.

“Butiya chairs the liaison committee but notwithstanding his position, he has failed to guide the chair of the Selection Committee on the population of members in different committees,” he said.

Manoah Mboku (infrastructure committee), Wimsey Osore (Justice committee), Paul Tirrah (Water and Enviroment committee), Peter Alukutsa (Agriculture committee) and Patrick Akhwale (Lands and Urban Planning committee) who failed to support the impeachment motion were dewhiped from their positions.

The five positions were subsequently taken by Francis Ukiru (Agriculture), Calystus Ayodi (Lands), Stephen Mugalitsi (Justice committee), Vincent Atsiaya (Transport and Infrastructure) and Baraka Dominic (Water and Environment).

However, the claims have been blasted by Victor Ijaika citing that their adversities are being championed for by ODM MCAs who are after taking control of the assembly.

He claims that the Ottichilo allies in the house wants to deprive them (ANC party MCAs) the privilege of assembly’s top positions.

Despite having moved to court and received an order to stop the motion, 30 of 38 members supported Butiya’s ouster motion and replaced him with Jepkoyai ward representative Zachariah Murefu.

The embattled Majority Chief whip Victor Ijaika and Majority leader Moses Opole were subsequently replaced by nominated MCA Stanley Khasiera and West Sabatia MCA Henry Asava respectively.

Days after the withdrawal of the Ottichilo impeachment motion, Vihiga senator George Khaniri raised a red flag to the MCAs allied to the governor, saying that they should play their oversight role transparently and with integrity.

Speaking in Central Bunyore, Emuhaya Subcounty, recenlty, Khaniri noted that the MCAs should not be used as shields by the executive.

“Do not carry someone else’s burden. You have your own burden to carry,” he told central Bunyore MCA Paul Tirrah, one of the MCAs who strongly opposed Ottichilo’s ouster.

The other side of the story claims that the failed impeachment was an added advantage to Mr. Khaniri who plans to challenge Ottichilo in the 2022 gubernatorial polls.

Shamakhokho MCA Douglas Beru blatantly said that the failed impeachment was a reprieve to Khaniri for if it would have succeeded, it would definitely deny him the chance of becoming the first governor from the Tiriki area.

Rev. Beru claimed that if Dr. Ottichilo’s powers had been seized through the motion and his Deputy Dr. Patrick Saisi (a Tiriki resident of Hamisi Subcounty) took over, the move would have shuttered Khaniri’s aspirations of clinching the coveted position in 2022.

Rev Beru insisted that the much coveted top county position would (after DG. Saisi’s short tenure) be taken over by the smart-minded Sabatia Sub county.

Claims had also arisen earlier on that the MCAs’ frantic efforts to remove Ottichilo from office were being pushed by a strong MP in Vihiga County.

However, these assertions were dismissed by the fiery Wodanga MCA Vincent Atsiaya, who claimed that Ottichilo had failed to deliver as a governor and that the purpoted claims were mere excuses of him seeking their attention to compromise on his failures.

PHOTO CAPTION: Embattled ex-Vihiga deputy speaker Nickson Butiya and other MCAs in a past briefing on the plans to impeach governor Ottichilo. The plans aborted. PHOTO/Courtesy.

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