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Senator wants his Governor frog-marched to Parliament

25 November 2015, 07:55 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – A Senate accounts committee has asked the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko to direct for the prosecution of Kakamega Governor, Wycliffe Oparanya for dishonoring its summon to respond to audit queries.

The Senate Public Accounts committee chairman, Boni Khalwale who addressed the press with other committee members said Oparanya is liable to prosecution after defying three invitations and a summon to respond to questionable County expenditures amounting to millions of shillings raised by the Auditor General.

“Governor Oparanya should be frog-marched to the Senate to give information on the County’s expenditures for financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 or the Director of Public Prosecutions charge him for failure to provide information,” said Khalwale.

He revealed that his committee wrote a letter to Tobiko to have Oparanya prosecuted for continuously defying the Senate committees’ summonses yet the High Court’s ruling had directed all governors to honor invitations to help Senate discharge its constitutional oversight role over counties.

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In October 2014, the irked Khalwale-led accounts committee dismissed Oparanya’s executive members; Finance officer Paul Otsula and County Secretary Jeremiah Were, who had been sent to respond to the County’s expenditures and instead ordered the Governor to appear in person.

“This forces me to direct the office of the clerk to issue summons to the Governor of Kakamega to appear before this committee on November 11. Otsula, tell the Governor to come with all officers who will help him to answer some serious audit queries,” Khalwale had said.

“There are serious problems for Kakamega County and the Governor needs to appear in person to respond to them,” he added.

Among questionable expenditures by the Auditor General include the redirection of KES 5.2 million meant for Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) to purchase Oparanya’s official vehicle, unsupported expenditure of KES 17.3 million paid to some contractors, and an outstanding County debt of KES 132 million as at June 30, 2014 in addition to an amount of KES 125 and KES 60.6 million in respect of cess from Mumias Sugar Company.

“The County also paid out KES 37 million without any supporting documents. Debtors for the defunct municipal council of Mumias amounting to KES 10 million had no proper records. The registers for rent and rates were not reconciled,” said Khalwale.

The auditors had also questioned the payment of KES 4.9 million to a contractor who undertook a contract of KES 1 million and was to be paid through LATF and Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) as opposed to county funds.

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