Lonyangapuo quizzed on absentee deputy governor - Daily Nation
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EACC grills John Lonyangapuo over Nicholas Atudonyang's US job

Tuesday September 18 2018

John Lonyangapuo

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo addresses the press in Eldoret Town on September 18, 2018, after he was grilled by detectives of the Ethics And Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives for allowing Deputy Governor Dr Nicholas Atudonyang to earn a salary despite being in the United States. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DENNIS LUBANGA
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By ONYANGO K’ONYANGO
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The anti-graft agency has questioned West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo on claims that Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang works full time in the United States yet continues to earn a salary.

Via Twitter on Tuesday, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said the allegation is that Mr Atudonyang has remained salaried without rendering services, so investigations are on.

NO ARREST

Lonyangapuo was questioned at the EACC's regional office in Eldoret town on the whereabouts of the deputy governor.

He arrived at about midday and was with the detectives for about 30 minutes.

In his address to the press after the grilling, he denied claims that he was arrested by the EACC sleuths and accused his political opponents of plotting his downfall.
“I appeared here to answer questions on the whereabouts of my deputy governor after a group of people in West Pokot, particularly in Makutano. wrote a letter to the EACC claiming he was given permission to go for a long time, that his air tickets were paid for and that he was given per diem to fly from city to city in the US, earn a salary and all that," he said. "I have cleared all that."

Governor Lonyangapuo said Mr Atudonyang left the country in March and was to return in May.

He said that as the county chief, he deemed it fit to extend the deputy governor's stay in the US owing to the activities he had been undertaking.

“Because he was a professional working in the US before as a neurosurgeon, we wanted him to assist West Pokot and Kenya through the contacts and agencies that support medical care as we need equipment from them," he explained.

"That is what happened. It took him a lot of time. He met many agencies, one of them being 'Saving Mothers' and another one is St Francisca."

'LITTLE SALARY'
The Governor said the first lot of containers full of medical equipment enough for West Pokot to share with other medical facilities will be received at the Port of Mombasa on Thursday.

“This consignment is [so large that] we will be forced to share [the equipment] with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenyatta National Hospital and facilities in other counties. We may not have the expertise to operate some of it."

He said they were also expecting more than 500 computers that were donated from the US.

“My Deputy Governor has done very well. The little salary we have paid him for almost six months after taxation comes to about Sh600,000, which you can’t compare with the equipment worth Sh200 million which we are being given free of charge,” he said.
Speaking separately, EACC Regional Executive Jackson Mue said they called the Governor after they received a petition from a group of West Pokot residents.

“We want to make it clear that we have not arrested the Governor. We just summoned him to shed more light on how he has been remitting salaries to his Deputy Governor yet he has not been in office for some time,” said Mr Mue.

The deputy governor is expected to appear before the anti-graft body when he jets back later this week.

PAST CLAIMS

In March, leaders accused Mr Atudonyang, who is also the county health executive, of operating from abroad.

The accusation came as police probed the theft of a Sh450,000 ultrasound machine from Kapenguria County Referral Hospital.

Before that, the public had complained about poor health services and an increasing number of maternal deaths at the facility.

The leaders called for Mr Atudonyang's sacking, on grounds of non-performance.

Mr Atudonyang is from Pokot South.

Mr Lonyangapuo picked him ahead of the August 8, 2017 general election to consolidate his votes.

He did so, while serving as Senator, to counter moves by the then Governor Simon Kachapin. Mr Kachapin vied alongside Titus Lotee, who is from North Pokot.

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