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Assembly split over governor’s embezzlement scam

16 August 2013, 17:31 Wangui Joseph

Nyeri - Nyeri county assembly members are split over the recent claims that the governor’s office had embezzled public funds.

The reports have however turned to be the order of the day among the members of the county assembly and opinion makers within the region.

A cross section of the ward representatives on Friday condemned their colleague, chairman of the Public Investment and Accounts committee Baragu Mutahi, for alleging that governor Nderitu Gachagua embezzled the funds.

Baragu said the process of awarding contracts to refurbish the governor’s office which was to cost KES 61 Million was flawed.

The group, led by the County Finance and Economic committee chairman Paul Ngiria, stated that the said funds were well budgeted to serve the allocated purposes.

He said the process of refurbishing the governor and his executives’ offices will run as expected and directed since the tendering process was done in accordance to the law.

Ngiria said his colleague, Baragu Mutahi, with his group which blew out whistle on the issue wants to derail devolution in the region, hinder development projects initiated by the governor and frustrate him.

“Baragu and his group cannot justify the embezzlement and corruption allegations they raised against the governor. The contracts were awarded procedurally and refurbishment exercise has already kicked off,” said Ngiria, seconded by eight assembly members during a press conference.

Chairman of the County Budget and Appropriation committee, Edward Muteru, said Baragu should clarify which procedures were not followed in the tendering process. He argued that Baragu had overstepped his mandate and is misusing privileges.

Muteru further claimed that Baragu has no authority to demand accountability documents from the governor’s office without following the right channels.

“He needed an authority from the county assembly to proceed with his inquiry and demand of the documents in question. The assembly is the mushroom of all orders,” he added.

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