Ousted assembly Speaker Onyango Oloo may have stepped on several toes and courted enemies over time to find himself isolated and subdued on Wednesday as MCAs ganged up to strip him of a position he has enjoyed for the last two years, Nation has established.
While he may have appeared to have managed to hold the assembly together, maintaining sobriety and keeping firm control on House affairs, it is now emerging that quietly and over time, he had created enemies within and outside the assembly, who have been disgruntled over his style of handling issues.
Choked in the fumes of tear gas lobbed by police who barred him from accessing the assembly and painfully absorbing insults and accusations hurled at him, Mr Oloo was facing one of the lowest and trying moments of his political career.
According to sources, it needed just a little trigger for the MCAs to turn their wrath on the disgraced Speaker whose woes began after he was implicated in corrupt dealings in the construction of the Sh4.1 billion Lake Basin Mall during his stint as chairperson of the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA).
He is alleged to have collected up to Sh17 million in bribes from the contractor, on top of other gifts in form of housing projects. Gifted with oratory and persuasion skills over and above his grasp of the law, it is now emerging that the ousted Speaker may have from time to time engaged unorthodox means to reign on dissenting MCAs and other officials within the rank and file of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party hierarchy.
Mr Oloo’s colleagues now claim that he applied intimidation and divide-and-rule tactics to stay at the helm of the assembly.
Some of the frustrations came to the fore during his impeachment proceedings when the sponsor of the motion, Kondele MCA Joachim Oketch, accused him of bias and favouritism and hampering of quality debates in the House.
The suspension of three MCAs during his tenure also came back to haunt the ousted Speaker. According to Kolwa East MCA Steve Owiti, Mr Oloo was not only dishonest but used intimidation to get away with a slew of illegalities in the discharge of House affairs.
A section of his allies are now pointing an accusing finger at governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, who has, however, denied that he had anything to do with Mr Oloo’s predicament.
Contacted for comment, ODM Kisumu County Coordinating Committee chairman Ayiecho Olweny distanced the party from Mr Oloo’s woes.
Even though almost the entire ODM Kisumu branch office was present during the impeachment proceedings at the assembly, Mr Olweny pointed out that the assembly is independent and has the power to elect whoever they want as the Speaker.
A close ally of Mr Oloo, Mr Gard Olima who became a casualty of subsequent ousters effected by MCAs targeting his cronies supported Mr Olweny saying the party had nothing to do with the intrigues in the assembly, pointing an accusing finger at Prof Nyong’o.
“Mr Oloo’s war is with the governor and the executive and not with the MCAs. Many do not have a problem with him, some are just invoking the party’s name as an excuse to execute their plan,” said Mr Olima.