Ex-governor Ragwa defends himself after audit queries

Wednesday March 18 2020

Former Tharaka-Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa addresses journalists at his home in Giampampo Village following a raid by EACC officers on January 11, 2018. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Former Tharaka-Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa has defended himself against reports that he cannot account for Sh2.9 million paid for a trip to Denmark with his wife.

The revelation is contained in a 2016/2017 audit report, which states that Mr Ragwa's wife used Sh1.7 million during the trip but that there were no documents to show she attended a conference.

The report further states that Mr Ragwa's wife was supposed to stay there for four days but was paid per diem for 10 days.


Mr Ragwa denied the allegations on Friday and accused the Auditor-General of causing him problems with his wife.

The politician noted that he took wife to that country in May 2016 for a conference that the wives of all the 47 governors and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta attended.

He further explained that his trip to Denmark in September 2016 was with the then Chuka County Referral Hospital medical superintendent, Dr Elijah Kameti.

He said the journey was organised by the Council of Governors and that they travelled to benchmark on healthcare capacity development.

"It was from this trip that the county benefited [by way of] a fully equipped eye unit established at Chuka hospital through Israeli non-governmental organisation, Eye from Zion," he said.

Mr Ragwa noted that he had never travelled to Denmark with a woman other than his wife.

“The report that has widely been discussed on local radio stations suggests to my wife that I took another woman to Demark, which is very wrong,” he told journalists at Kathwana town.


The former county chief also denied the finding that according to the records provided, there was no evidence that he travelled to Denmark.

He said he was ready to supply all the documentation for verification and that copies were submitted to the county secretary’s office.

“I am surprised to read in the report that there are no travel documents yet I am very sure that they are at the county secretary’s office at Kathwana,” he said, adding that the documents may have been destroyed or tampered with in a to 'fix' him.

Mr Ragwa warned that there will be no justice for ex-governors if the Auditor-General continues relying on information from incumbents' offices.

The incumbents, he alleged, act on instructions from |their bosses".

The politician further said most county chiefs consider those they defeated threats in the 2022 general election so they will do anything to "kill them politically".

“I know I cannot win any case with Governor [Muthomi] Njuki as my advocate and that is why the auditor should involve us, not our rivals,” he said.


In May 2018, Governor Njuki said the accumulation of unremitted deductions, promotion arrears, unpaid salaries and allowances marred Mr Ragwa's administration.

He pointed this out while saying the couty would not pay Sh342 million, part of the Sh1.07 billion of the pending bills inherited from the previous regime.

At the time, an audit report had revealed that the sum was part of Sh587 million owed to suppliers, contractors, lawyers and unpaid subsistence allowances for staff.