Migori county assembly speaker Boaz Okoth impeached

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Migori speaker Boaz Okoth was last evening unanimously impeached by MCAs over graft and gross misconduct. A total of 46 MCAs turned up during the season, 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 act on behalf of 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 since he has been using uncouth means to reign over them adding that what he did at the finance office was a shame to the 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 impeached him have often stalled, 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 cant afford simple basic things. During the sitting, Boaz had attempted to access the assembly when he was turned away by sergents-at-arms and staff.

Last Thursday, Okoth and seven co-accused 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 Sh100,000 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 Sh200,000 bond and one surety, or a Sh100,000 cash bail. The case will be mention on February 25 and the hearing on March 15.

Speaking separately, Migori Finance Officer Evans Ogutu said he got court orders squashing his suspension. He said he was shocked when he received calls that thugs broke inside his office and was more perturbed in court when he saw Speaker Okoth.

BY BASIL OKOTH