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Jitters In ODM As Powerful Agency Director Resigns To Join Bonchari MP Race

by Musa Abdirahman

The resignation of an agency director to run for the vacant Bonchari Constituency parliamentary seat has triggered jitters in Raila Odinga’s ODM camp.

Embattled Energy and Petroleum Regulatory and Authority (EPRA) boss Pavel Oimeke resigned and announced his intentions to vie for the Bonchari MP seat in the upcoming by-election.

Although he has not mentioned the political party he will be vying on, there are reports that Oimeke might settle to run on Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.

Oimeke told a local daily that he has kicked off consultations that will aid him to choose on the right party to vie on.

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Pavel Oimeke. Photo/Courtesy

The seat became vacant after the death of John Oyoo Oyioka on Monday, February 15, after a long illness.

Media reports indicated that Oimeke had written to the Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter over his resignation. 

“I Pavel Robert Oimeke, would like to announce my resignation from the position of director-general at the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory and Authority,” he stated.

Oimeke is embroiled in a graft case in which he is accused of demanding a Ksh200,000 bribe. It is alleged that Oimeke demanded the bribe in order to reopen a petrol station in Oyugis, Homa Bay county.

The petrol station had been shut down over tax violations. Oimeke denied the graft allegations even as the case continues to drag in court.

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The former energy boss was appointed EPRA boss in August 2017 for a three-year renewable contract. However, this was contested over allegations of abuse of office and fraud.

This led to Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labour Relations Court stopping the renewal of Oimeke’s contract to allow investigations to continue.

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