Tongues were set wagging when Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga dared Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to launch an investigation against him over corruption claims.
The extraordinary invitation left many baffled given the fact that the embattled governor has been maneuvering a series of corruption allegations running into billions of shillings hanging over his head since 2013.
Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, that of Auditor General, a section of politicians and Siaya voters have roundly accused Rasanga of brazen corruption ranging from massive raid on public coffers, nepotism to employment of ghost workers.
Critics are in chorus that Rasanga’s two terms in the office as the county CEO has been shrouded with dark activities that have slowed down development in Siaya the home of Raila Odinga.
Sources told Weekly Citizen that Rasanga has allegedly been hiding behind family, friends and other proxies to rob the county by irregular award of lucrative tenders for heavy kickbacks.
In an attempt to feign innocence the abrasive governor recently dared the EACC to summon him for question over rampant corruption following public outcry that is steadily forming into a revolution against the troubled governor.
Already, there is a growing revolution call against Rasanga championed by a group of young voters in Siaya, taking cue from recent coup in Sudan and neighbouring Uganda where Bobi Wine is causing trouble for Yoweri Museveni.
These come hot on the heels of shocking revelations that the governor had secretly redesigned Sh400 million ultramodern Siaya stadium aimed at cutting cost to oil the pockets of certain cartels.
The contract to put up 20,000-seater stadium was awarded to a Chinese company Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group and was to be completed in 44 months.
Locals led by one motormouth businessman George Obondo alias Livondo are up in arms demanding an explanation on events that led to the secret redesigning of the construction plan, as the current one is only a shadow of what was shared with the public prior to groundbreaking ceremony in August last year.
Locals have appealed to EACC to move with speed and investigate the allegations before public cash is lost into the project that has been turned into a money minting business ahead of 2022 campaigns.
Imperative to note, Rasanga has kicked off an early campaign to become the next area senator through a political arrangement that would see him swap positions with incumbent senator James Orengo, an idea that has been fiercely opposed by voters.
Red flag over brazen corruption shrouding Rasanga administration has been constantly raised by concerned voters and local politicians led by former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and his former Rarieda counterpart Nicholas Gumbo.
Jakoyo and Gumbo made an early appeal to the EACC to conduct a lifestyle audit on the Siaya governor over misappropriation of public fund pointing out the suspicious luxurious lifestyle Rasanga assumed immediately he was elected into the coveted office.
Gumbo who is the former chairperson of the parliamentary public accounts committee and a fierce rival of Rasanga in the last gubernatorial election had made a prediction of a tough moment between the governor and ant-graft bodies.
Immediately after Rasanga was sworn in for the second term, Gumbo who felt his victory was stolen cursed the governor and warned him of a rough path ahead with the investigators following his corrupt method of leadership that had seen billions of shillings looted from the county coffer.
“Nobody can comfortably eat hot stolen ugali without burning his throat. Soon, the truth shall be known,” Gumbo said in reference to Rasanga.
He called on the EACC to conduct a fresh investigation to ascertain the actual cost of prefabricated building at the country headquarters that allegedly cost taxpayers Sh21.6 million.
The former lawmaker called on the antigraft body to compel the Siaya governor to give an explanation on the whereabouts of Sh75 million meant for 2017 education bursary.
Jakoyo in a hard hitting statement uncovered Rasanga as a greedy leader who ventured into heavy spending spree immediately he assumed the gubernatorial position and bought palatial homes in Kisumu, Nairobi, Siaya and even in the USA with money suspected to be corruption proceeds.
But Rasanga despite all the corruption allegations recently surprised locals and high profile officials from the EACC when wondered how there had not been a single prosecution against him since he was elected in 2013 despite the commission pitching tent in the county.
Keen observers were quick to concur with Rasanga pointing out that detectives were moving at a snail pace in the probe of graft allegations in Siaya county despite rampant corruption being unearthed.
However the EACC through vice chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit told executives and chief officers to be on the lookout since they are prone to victimisation and would be the ones on the firing line as far as corruption cases are concerned.
EACC director of preventive services Vincent Okong’o said the commission has already forwarded many cases to the DPP for prosecution and one of them is a Sh2 billion road project in Siaya where money is suspected to have been squandered under the watch of the governor.
Recently, the governor admitted corruption in his administration but quickly pointed that his hands are tied and he can not crack the whip on those involved since they were his allies and needed their votes in his senatorial ambitions.
He has since interdicted county secretary Dave Anyona on accusations he was behind leakages of crucial information touching on corruption to the media and bodies investigating corruption cases at the county.
At one point the troubled governor narrowly escaped a dragnet by sleuths after the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji approved his arrest over graft.
Among the graft charges Rasanga could be arrested for include paying business class tickets for his wife, Rosallia Sh5million as well as a mix of economy class and first class tickets for his son and four daughters on several overseas trips financed by by taxpayers’ money.
During one of the family trips abroad, Rasanga who was coming back into the country from Canada was engaged in a cat and mouse game with detectives who had laid an ambush for him at the airport but failed to arrest him under unclear circumstances.
He later surfaced in Awendo, Migori county where he boastfully narrated to area residents how Raila made an intervention that saved him from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport drama.
In the meantime, the Auditor General Edward Ouko in his latest report says Siaya county spent a whopping Sh141 million without following the law and entered into procurement deals through single sourcing for services like insurance and internet connectivity.