As Sharon Murder Trial Draws Closer, What Obado Has Been up to?

Migori governor Okoth Obado has been caught up with filling in as his date with the court over the death of his mistress Sharon Otieno and their unborn child approaches.

Obado had an uneven 2018 in which he spent month at the Industrial police headquarters while his political nemesis Ochillo Ayacko won the Senate race in a by-election which the governor never casted a ballot.

When out on bail in November last year, Obado hosted Deputy President William Ruto in Migori during his tour to launch projects.

However, Obado’s freedom was short-lived as he was arrested again less than two weeks later on November 14 after guns were found in his home during a search by detectives.

He was released on bail two days later.

Between December and January, Obado has launched three main projects including an Sh20 million full scholarship for 200 needy students.

On January 3, he launched 32,000 improved banana seedlings in Suna West sub-county and a day later launched two bridges in Got Kachola ward, Nyatike sub-county.

Obado returns to court on February 14 for the pretrial conference.

The hearing is held between May 6 and 17.

Sharon, who was until her death a student at Rongo University, was abducted in September 2018 alongside Nation journalist Barack Oduor, who said he escaped by jumping out of the abductors’ speeding vehicle.

Two days later, the body of the seven-month pregnant woman was found dumped in K’odera Forest in Homa Bay County.

Obado’s two aides Caspal Obiero and Michael Oyamo are still being detained.

Besides the murder case, Obado is also being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged embezzlement of Sh2.5 billion.

The governor is accused of using proxies to syphon the money from Migori county coffers.

Some of the companies being investigated are owned by his relatives, family members and cronies.

In the wake of the graft investigations, a number of accounts linked to his wife Hellen Odie and key businessmen in the county were frozen.

Obado, through his Finance executive Scholastica Abiero, has lined key projects in the 2019-20 financial year with an Sh8.9 billion budget.

Of the amount, Sh2.5 billion will be directly channelled towards key infrastructure projects including roads, power and health.

To end decongestion in Migori town, Sh500 million will be used to open a Western by-pass to ease traffic.

Out of this, Sh300 million will be used to upgrade the Lichota Airstrip, five kilometres from the town.

A total of Sh900 million will be used to upgrade the Gogo Power plant and build a bridge to boost current output of 2MW to 60MW, a flagship project Obado promised during his swearing-in for a second term.

To end constant cases of water shortage in the county caused by high electricity bills generated by pumping water, the county will spend Sh200 million to build solar power plants at Sh5 billion Oyani Water Projects handed over from the World Bank.

“Migori is building a programme-based budget so that all that was budgeted for before is done and new ones finalised,” assembly Budget and Appropriation committee chairman Abedi Maroa told the public in November last year during a public participation forum in Migori town.

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