Vihiga governor warns top appointee of sack for ‘insubordination’

The public spat between Vihiga governor Wilber Ottichilo and county secretary Francis Ominde has heated up to an extent that the county boss is threatening to fire the official, six months after he appointed him to the plum post.

Dr Ottichilo, in a memo, accused the county secretary of insubordination, refusing to take orders, gross misconduct and violation of the constitution.

Mr Ominde, who formerly served in the same position in the neighbouring Nandi County, is seen as friendly to the local county assembly.

Mr Ominde confirmed receiving the memo, but claimed that his boss was being “misled” by people he did not identify.

Dr Ottichilo accused Mr Ominde of reproducing an internal memo meant for the executive and circulating it to the county assembly.

“As a result, the internal memo was construed and interpreted out of context yet the memo was clearly labelled ‘Internal memo’,” the communique read. Mr Ominde was also accused of planning a foreign trip to China and hand-picking participants at the expense of the executive without getting authorisation.

The trip was meant to train county officers, but its details remained scanty. “You are unilaterally renewing and/or purporting to renew expired contracts of officers within departments without consultation,” said Dr Ottichilo.

Mr Ominde was also accused of making “outrageous financial claims and demands” causing the county to incur avoidable expenses. “Note that these acts amount to gross misconduct misconduct, violation of the Constitution and other laws,” said the letter that warned Mr Ominde of a possible sacking.

But the embattled official, who is also the head of public service and secretary to the county executive committee, said all he is accused of doing falls under his mandate.

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