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Ignore summons at your own peril, Senate warns governors

Sunday May 12 2019
KAJWANG

Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee chairman Moses Kajwang during House proceedings on July 31, 2018. He has warned governors who skip Senate summons of dire consequences. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE ODUOR

A show of might looms between governors and senators after the upper House dared the county bosses to skip summons to answer audit queries on the 2017/2018 financial year.

Senate Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Sunday warned governors against skipping summons that is set to establish how counties spent their funds.

DIRE CONSEQUENCES

PAC Chairman Moses Kajwang’ warned that governors who will skip the summons of dire consequences.

He, however, did not disclose the kind of action Senate will take against county bosses who fail to show up to answer audit queries.

“Failure to appear before the Senate Public Accounts Committee shall attract the consequences spelt out in the Section 19 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act,” Mr Kajwang’ told governors.

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This comes after the Council of Governors (CoG) said it was against Senators grilling its members.

READ: Kiambu spending: Budget office rejects Waititu’s list

The CoG told its members to boycott the summons over claims that the report from the office of the Auditor General had several errors including claims that counties spent funds in activities meant for the national government.

ERRORS

CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya told the county bosses not to attend the sittings chaired by Mr Kajwang’ until investigations are conducted to establish the truth behind the errors in the financials reports.

READ: How counties spent billions on State projects

The Kakamega governor argued that the National Treasury admitted that the budget execution reports for the counties in question had errors that indicated that national government programmes, including allocation of funds for State House functions and the South Sudan peace process.

INVESTIGATED

Some of the counties being investigated are Kakamega, Kwale, Lamu, Nyamira and Samburu.

However, the Senate argued that the said errors will not stop them from telling Kenyans how public funds are utilised. 

“Any party with reservations on county reports by the Auditor General has the opportunity to address these before the Senate or relevant county assembly and not in churches and media briefings,” Mr Kajwang said.

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