Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o on Monday apologised to the family of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga after the former Vice President and his elder son Dr Oburu Oginga were listed among top land rate defaulters in the county.
In a statement on Monday, Governor Nyong’o said the late Jaramogi’s name was published “erroneously”.
He, however, did not touch on Dr Oginga’s case.
He said that the County Government, in an effort to manage the ballooning land rates account on default, which has had serious impacts on revenue management, commissioned an exercise to compile a list of all the land rate defaulters and the actual amount in default in the county.
“This has been an elaborate process that entailed reconciling the accounts resident in the various payment platforms dating back to the defunct local authorities. The reconciliation process entailed crosschecking with all relevant information including minutes from sessions by the full councils of those defunct authorities, the decisions by the then state department of Local Authorities and the county cabinet,” the Governor said.
The final document of the exercise he said had not been processed through the County Cabinet for final action.
“It is therefore unfortunate that one of the many draft pieces was erroneously sent for publication in one of the dailies. It is unfortunate that this version sent to the public is not the final document being sent to the cabinet and has caused untold embarrassment to the government because some of the names appearing on that list were cleared during the processing period following receipt of relevant documentation and do not appear in the final document,” said the governor.
“One such name is that of this Country’s icon in the independence struggle and the first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. The Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o sends unreserved apology to the family of the First Vice President for embarrassment caused by this publication.”
He disclosed that a true copy of the processed report will be published in due course.
“Once again on behalf of the County Government of Kisumu, unreserved apologies to the family of HE Jaramogi Oginga Odinga for this enormous error,” he wrote.
The late Jaramogi and his elder son Dr Oburu Oginga’s names had been published among the County’s top land rate defaulters.
The Kisumu Land Task Force committee had said that the County government was owed more than Sh15 billion in land rates orchestrated by defaulters among them the late founding Vice President and his son Dr Oginga, among other prominent individuals and agencies.
On Friday, the County government published a list of 581 land rate defaulters including companies and individual owners.
In the list published in a local daily by Kisumu County Secretary, Dr Olang’o Onudi Friday, Ajuma Oginga Odinga, owner of Kisumu Bloc 12/222 was said to owe the County of Kisumu Sh7,774,099.
Dr Oburu Oginga had also been listed among the land rate defaulters with a total of Sh 295,743 in arrears.
Dr Oginga’s land is marked as Kisumu Bloc 7/509.
Also in the list was a member of Building Bridges Initiative and Catholic Arch Bishop Zacheus Okoth.
He was listed as the owner of Kisumu Bloc 10/86 with arrears of Sh1,771,933.
Prof Nyong’o’s move to apologize on Monday came after Jaramogi’s family members Omondi Odinga (son) and Ruth Odinga termed the report as “malicious.”
They faulted it with Mr Omondi saying it was aimed at tarnishing the family’s reputation.