22 Mom­basa MCAs record state­ments with EACC over Dasani

‘We know that given the re­al­i­ties of the po­lit­i­cal space, this is likely to be a year when peo­ple dis­ap­pear with en­tire bud­gets of de­part­ments if we do not in­ter­ro­gate’

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - SA­MUEL KISIKA @KisikaSam

Se­na­tors have said the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s fail­ure to sub­mit re­ports on time could lead to com­plet­ing their term with­out fully query­ing gov­er­nors’ spend­ing.

They want Ed­ward Ouko to ex­plain why he has only re­ceived the 2013-14 au­dit re­ports for the coun­ties since de­vo­lu­tion be­gan, yet there are only eight months to the next polls.

Se­na­tors last week ac­cused Ouko of im­ped­ing the Se­nate’s over­sight role by de­lay­ing the sub­mis­sion of re­ports. They made the ac­cu­sa­tion when pre­sent­ing a mo­tion ex­tend­ing the House cal­en­dar by a week be­fore go­ing on re­cess.

Ma­jor­ity leader Kithure Kindiki ab­solved the Pub­lic Ac­counts and In­vest­ments Com­mit­tee of blame for en­sur­ing gov­er­nors ac­count for spend­ing, and said Ouko is the “prob­lem”.

Council of Gov­er­nors chair­man Peter Munya last Fri­day gave jour­nal­ists a re­port show­ing how the coun­ties have spent Sh1.3 tril­lion re­ceived since de­vo­lu­tion. Munya pre­sented the re­port at Par­lia­ment Build­ings af­ter be­ing queried on his county’s (Meru) spend­ing by the Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee, chaired by Kisumu Se­na­tor Anyang’ Ny­ong’o.

“As much as we are putting pres­sure on the ac­counts com­mit­tee to de­liver the re­ports for sub­se­quent years, it is a pity the Au­di­tor Gen­eral has not sub­mit­ted those re­ports. The Au­di­tor Gen­eral is in vi­o­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, which forms grounds for re­moval from of­fice as a pub­lic of­fi­cer,” Kindiki said.

Ouko, how­ever, cited in­ad­e­quate staff to au­dit both na­tional and county gov­ern­ment spend­ing as the cause of de­lays.

“I see a sit­u­a­tion where this term may end when we have not even fin­ished con­sid­er­ing re­ports of a sin­gle year. That will be tragic. As Par­lia­ment, we must put pres­sure on the Au­di­tor Gen­eral to give us the re­ports,” Kindiki said.

Se­na­tor Ny­ong’o ac­cused Ouko of over­look­ing the con­sti­tu­tional time­lines of pre­sent­ing the re­ports. He asked the House lead­er­ship to step in and make Ouko sub­mit the 201415 re­port.

Keri­cho Se­na­tor Aaron Cheruy­oit warned that bil­lions of shillings could be lost if the re­ports are not given on time.

“We know that given the re­al­i­ties of the po­lit­i­cal space in our coun­try, this is likely to be the year when peo­ple are likely to dis­ap­pear even with en­tire bud­gets of de­part­ments if we do not have time to in­ter­ro­gate and question the de­ci­sions be­ing made,” he said.

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