Should Justice Odunga have disqualified himself?

“….With respect to the rulings last week, we want to be able to assert that part of the bench, and specifically one Justice Odunga, is related to James Orengo through marriage. He’s married to Sara Odunga who is the daughter of the late Archbishop Ondiek, and therefore is a relative of Orengo. Sara Odunga is the niece of James Orengo. Question we are asking is, did he declare this to the advocates which were involved in this case so that that conflict of interest could be addressed… ”

- Raphael Tuju, July 10, 2017

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju made his remarks about Justice George Odunga on July 10, 2017, one day after a Facebook post by Ugandan maverick David Matsanga made the same accusations, and copied it to the Facebook accounts of Dennis Itumbi and Manoah Esipisu, who are State House officials.

'Archbishop Ondiek' refers to Stephen Ondiek, the Legio Maria archbishop who was MP for Ugenya until his death, when Mr James Orengo took over.

FINANCIAL INTERESTS

A 2002 report of the Daily Nation covering the death of Archbishop Ondiek’s son notes that one of the late bishop’s deceased wives was a sister to James Orengo, although the story does not name her. The story says Archbishop Ondieki had eight wives.

Mr Matsanga’s account contradicts the Nation account by naming Concilia Ondiek as Mr Orengo’s sister. Concilia herself is quoted in The Star of October 23, 2012 describing Orengo as her brother-in-law, not her brother, and opposing his bid for Senator of Siaya, while supporting Oburu Oginga instead. Mr Orengo went on to win the election.

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