Oparanya shuffles officers over suspect use of Sh20m

'NORMAL CHANGES': Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya at a press conference at the county headquarters on Monday, April 20. PHOTO/COURTESY

• Sources disclosed that the changes were meant to pave the way for investigations into the use of more than Sh20 million.

• Oparanya told those affected to ensure a smooth handover.

Kakamega chief finance officer John Imbogo has been ‘demoted’ in a reshuffle by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya “over the questionable use of Sh20 million.

Finance is one of the powerful dockets because its operations touch all other departments. Imbogo has been moved to the Social Services, Youth and Sports docket as chief officer, replacing Vitalis Masakhwe who now moves to the Public Service and Administration in the same capacity.

Ambassador James Ochami, who has been the chief officer in charge of service delivery in the governor’s office has taken charge as chief finance officer in an acting capacity. Ochami’s position has been taken over by human resources director Dominic Muteshi in an acting capacity.

“I have today made the following changes that take effect immediately. Those affected should ensure a smooth handover,” Oparanya said in a memo on Tuesday.

He did not disclose the reason for the changes. Head of the governor’s press service Peter Atsiaya said the changes “were normal and meant to ensure proper service delivery”.

“Remember reshuffles can be done any time for purposes of reorganizing the government to improve service. All government employees can serve in any position any time they are called upon,” Atsiaya said. 

However, multiple sources in his administration on Wednesday told the Star that they were meant to pave the way for investigations into the use of more than Sh20 million.

One source said the matter not been reported to police for investigations as a procedure. “They want to victimise small fries,” he said.

Kakamega county has been hit by financial scandals recently. Revenue officers who were sent on forced leave more than six months ago remain at home. The officers were accused of failing to meet targets.

Last year, more than Sh1 million was transferred to an account of an employee who had been struck off the payroll.

The money was meant for allowances for MCAs attending a workshop in Kisumu. No senior officer was fired or even arrested over the matter.