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Senate insists Governors must appear in person for grilling

26 September 2014, 12:43 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investment committee has warned governors against sending junior officers before it to respond to the county audit queries.

The committee chair, Bonny Khalwale, said some governors’ decision to send the counties’ accounting officers is intimidation to the Senate and asked governors to appear in person for grilling.

“There is a deliberate effort to make the Senate look toothless by sending junior accounting officers. The Governors must appear before us and be held accountable for wasteful expenditure,” said Khalwale.

The senators claimed that some governors were formulating false excuses to defy the Senate’s summon and maintained that the move was fueled by the obtained court order stopping them from adhering to the summons.    

“We have been taken for a ride for long. We should surcharge members who spend taxpayers’ money to come for this meeting while pretty sure that it’s the governor whom we require,” said Nyamira Senator, Mong’are Bw’okongo.

Also Read: Governor urges senators to concentrate on their constitutional mandate

The Kiambu Senator, Kimani Wamatangi said there is huge loss of the taxpayers’ money by County Government officials on their foreign trips, advanced allowances for their seating sessions among other irregular earnings.

The committee’s comments come after the court granted governors protection for ignoring the Senators’ summons to account for funds allocated to their counties. 

The Garissa Governor, Nathif Jama is the latest County head to ignore Senate summons for grilling and instead sent a delegation of senior County officials to answer the audit queries and also apologize on his behalf saying he was presiding over an important stakeholders meeting on famine.

Also Read: MPs urge governors to drop case against Senate

However, the Kisumu Senator, Anyang Nyong’o, lashed out at Jama’s excuse saying the Governor should have delegated his deputy to chair the County meeting as provided in the Constitution.

“The Deputy Governor is constitutionally empowered to chair the meeting in the absence of the Governor,” said Nyong’o.

The Elgeyo Marakwet senior officials who appeared before Senate on Tuesday on behalf of their Governor, Alex Tolgos, said he could not attend the grilling session because he was unwell.

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