The Embu County Assembly is investigating claims that Governor Martin Wambora may have been duped into assenting a fake Finance Bill, thus irregularly making it law.
MCAs have launched investigations after Finance and Economic Planning Committee Chairman Morris Muchiri claimed that unscrupulous elements within the county government may have forged the Embu County Finance Bill 2019 by altering figures, resulting in an unpopular law that overcharges traders.
The Kirimari MCA said his committee is ready to launch an urgent probe into the matter, saying he is not familiar with the charges currently being levied on Embu traders.
He decried the drastic increase in trade licences and permit fees, revealing that most charges had tripled and forced some traders to close shop after being unable to pay up.
Deputy Speaker Steve Simba said the matter was grave and ordered the Finance Committee to convene an immediate sitting to start the inquiry. He said it was worrying if the Assembly had passed a law and an altered version of it was being implemented.
Evurore MCA Duncan Mbui, however, sought to clarify that county revenue officers were using a copy of the Finance Bill that was published initially but amended later by the Assembly to revise the proposed charges.
He added that the officers had not acquired the Finance Act that contained amended charges.
Ruguru Ngandori MCA Muturi Mwombo called for immediate stoppage of revenue collection using the suspect law until investigations are complete and corrections to the Finance Act done.
The Deputy Speaker, however, ruled that Mr Muchiri’s Finance Committee would decide whether to write to Finance County Executive Committee member John Njagi for necessary action to be taken.
Mr Muturi said the county government ought to be implementing laws that ease doing business in the county but noted that instead, traders were being frustrated through imposition of punitive charges.
The Finance Committee is expected to report back to the House after completion of its investigations into whether the law was illegally altered.