Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo is a man under fire, with plans by Vihiga MCAs to impeach him already underway. At least 23 MCAs have appended their signatures-out of 38 MCAs-to the approval of the motion on impeachment of the Vihiga Governor. The MCAs accused him of, among other things, irregular procurement, abuse of office, gross misconduct. However, speaking to the press on Friday, Governor Ottichilo said he has tried to set up a meeting with the MCAs to sort out any issues, but to no avail, “As the Governor of this County I made the decision and wrote to the speaker of the County assembly to request for an urgent meeting with the members of County assembly to provide a response and the right information regarding the issues being discussed in the public forum. However, the current socio-political conditions in the County have forestalled the initiative,” he noted, adding that he has once again written to the assembly speaker requesting for a meeting with MCAs at the County assembly chambers, given that the current discussion of the issue is tarnishing the name, the leadership of the County and negatively affecting development partners sponsoring various projects in the County.
The deteriorating relationship between the County’s executive and the County assembly is becoming more evident, and the Governor admitted that issues to do with pending bills, delay in salaries, oversight and implementation of development projects across the County. On the pending bills problem, the Governor said paying the bills will stretch the County government’s spending plans, which subsequently affects other sectors including payment of salaries, with the deadline for clearing of pending bills set for June 2020. He said Vihiga County cannot stretch its budgetary allocations considering the meager resources at their disposal.
He said it was later agreed that payment of salaries shouldn’t be attached to payment of pending bills and that’s why County staff have received their January salaries. Nonetheless, there will be no funds for development for this financial year and most of the 2020/2021 financial year because of the need to clear all pending bills, “Therefore the only option left for development will be conditional grant from the national government and donor support from development partners,” he said.