Staring at a looming eviction from his official residence, embattled Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili maintains he will not be intimidated to resign.
Dr Owili, who was elected to office alongside Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o during the last general election, told Sunday Nation that the tribulations he is currently facing are calculated to force him to resign.
“I am committed to the people of Kisumu and the governor. I will not be cowed and no amount of intimidation will make me resign from the position I am holding,” said Dr Owili.
Dr Owili’s troubles were triggered by a letter from property managers Vauxhall Holdings Ltd, dated September 30 and addressed to the county secretary, giving notice to evict him from his residence in Kisumu’s upmarket Milimani estate over the Sh3.5 million rent arrears.
The rent arrears had accrued to Sh273,844 as at the end of September. The form also demanded another Sh3.2 million owed to United Millers in unpaid rent for the same house during the previous county administration headed by former governor Jack Ranguma.
Besides the rent arrears, Dr Owili, Sunday Nation has established, has been surviving without a medical insurance cover for the last one year yet he is entitled to Sh5.5 million cover annually.
This has forced him to use his personal National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover to settle his medical bills.
According to documents seen by Sunday Nation, Dr Owili is entitled to an annual medical cover for himself and his family, including a spouse and up to four children below 25 years.
This includes an inpatient cover of Sh5 million, outpatient (Sh300,000), and maternity (Sh150,000), all these besides Sh75,000 for optical and a similar amount for dental cover.
Dr Owili is also yet to get his official vehicle and car loan as well as monthly airtime of Sh15,000.
The car loan is repayable at an annual interest of Sh3 per cent and must be fully paid by the end of term of the current administration.
His monthly gross remuneration package for a fixed term is Sh621,250 and is entitled to mortgage benefit of Sh25 million, which is similar to the Deputy Inspector General of Police Service.
But with all the hullabaloo about his abode, Dr Owili remains defiant. He has vowed to fight off anybody who will try to create a rift between him and Prof Nyong’o.
Speaking by phone, Dr Owili revealed that he has shared his concerns with the Governor and that whatever issues he had would be addressed in due course.
His sentiments followed revelations by a senior county official and interviews with insiders privy to the details about a plot to embarrass and frustrate Dr Owili into resigning.
Earlier this week, a county official told the Sunday Nation that there appeared to be malice in the failure by the county government to settle Dr Owili’s rent arrears.
Dr Owili however insists that his relationship with the Governor is very cordial. “We have a good working relationship with the governor. I have shared with him my concerns and everything is being handled at different levels,” he said.
Prof Nyong’o also distanced himself from claims that he is behind the attempts to embarrass, intimidate or frustrate his DG.
Through Director of Press Aloyce Ager, Prof Nyong’o said those peddling the rumours are intent on driving a wedge between him and Dr Owili.
"There is somebody who is trying to make political capital out of the rent issue. Someone is just out to create a wedge between Dr Owili and prof Nyong'o," said Mr Ager.
He further pointed out that the deputy governor already has one official vehicle, a Ford Everest, and a chase car.
Mr Ager also said that payments of Dr Owili's medical cover were up to date, saying Sh10.25 million has been paid and is supposed to run up to September 15, 2020. However, we could not independently verify these claims.