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Speaker suspended for using KES 1.8M public money for his wedding, honeymoon

15 April 2016, 15:13 Dareel Eric

Vihiga -  Vihiga County assembly members have suspended Speaker Dan Chitwah and formed a committee to investigate his conduct.

The 11-member ad hoc committee is expected to give a report within 14 days after the devolution conference that will be hosted in Meru next week.

This follows a notice of motion by nominated MCA, Nathan Kamidi seeking to suspend and interrogate the Speaker for several anomalies at the assembly.

“The County assembly has many grave issues which everyone is talking about. We can no longer continue digging our own graves as the election year approaches due to corruption allegations appropriated by one person,” Kamidi said while moving the motion, seconded by majority whip Vincent Atsiaya, on Thursday evening.  

Kamidi outlined 11 allegations against the Speaker, which he said Chitwah must exonerate himself from, before being allowed to head the assembly again.

Among the many allegations, Kamidi said, Chitwah used money from assembly for his wedding and honeymoon at Seychelles last year to a tune of over KES1.8 million.

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He further indicated the assembly has used over KES 200,000 to purchase a new engine for the speakers private vehicle, adding the speaker misuses his official vehicle for non official duties.

“The assembly has so many court cases and it is time the chair of public service board investigated why this is happening. The assembly is further going to pay over KES 80 million to Kenya Revenue Authority for failure to pay tax. Why is this happening?” he asked.  

He added, “The residents of Vihiga are the ones suffering most from poor leadership at the assembly.”   

Majority chief whip, Vincent Atsiaya proposed that while on suspension, Chitwah be paid half salary, fringe benefits withdrawn, his security withdrawn and official Speaker’s vehicle to remain at assembly.

“The way he has been chairing committees investigating other people, he should also allow for his own investigations,” Atsiaya said.   

Atsiaya said instead of impeaching the Speaker directly, which would have led to many court cases, they decided to give him an opportunity to defend himself.

“If possible, external bodies will be invited to conduct lifestyle audit for the Speaker, while his office remains closed and guarded in the meantime,” he said.  

The motion got blessings from all MCAs during its debate and voting, prompting deputy Speaker Richard Muhiga to suspend Chitwah and constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate him.

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