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PAC hits back at MPs attacking Auditor General’s report

03 August 2015, 21:32 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has faulted some MPs attacking the Auditor General’s report revealing the taxpayers’ unaccounted for KES 65.7 billion by both the National and County Governments.

PAC chairman, Nicholas Gumbo told the MPs to respect the independence of the Auditor General’s Office in discharging its constitutional oversight role and questioned who they defend between the Executive and taxpayer’s on attacking the report.

“Parliament and the Auditor General must be seen as partners in ensuring that public resources are applied for intended purposes. When some MPs come out to attack the report by the Auditor General, Edward Ouko, then the question must be asked on whose side are they; the thieve or the people of Kenya?” posed Gumbo.

He warned that the legislators’ attack on the Auditor General’s report not only makes Parliament look like an extension of the Executive but also presents an ironical situation for MPs to look like gatekeepers for the Executive, which is not their mandate.

Since Parliament annually allocates billions of money to government ministries, agencies and counties, Gumbo said thorough scrutiny is required to ascertain their usage since vast sums are lost to corruption and other forms of misuse.

“None other than the highest office in the land has acknowledged this. Anybody disagreeing with the contents of the report should present their explanations to Parliament, which has been provided with a three-month window period by the Constitution to do exactly that,” said Gumbo.

He also faulted the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich for condemning Ouko’s report, maintaining that no money was lost and going ahead to publish a full-page advert in local dailies reacting to the Auditor General’s report, a move Gumbo said is wastage of public funds, instead of pursuing the constitutional mechanism.

Balambala MP, Abdikadir Aden, also a member of PAC said it is wrong for legislators to attack the Auditor General’s report and attempting to undermine Ouko’s office yet it is key in the fight against graft.

“We stand very strongly with the Auditor General and MPs should desist from blanket condemnation of the Auditor General’s office instead allow Parliament to carry out thorough scrutiny of every penny of the taxpayers,” warned Aden.

“We are going to summon every accounting office to clarify on questionable expenditures. We are going to leave no stone unturned,” he assured.

Aden lauded Ouko’s report which he termed good for Kenyans and warned fellow MPs against using public functions such as harambees, funerals among others to criticize the report by terming it fake.

The MPs spoke to the media at Parliament Buildings.

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