Wairia, Gi­tura feud mars Se­nate team hear­ing on au­dit queries

I will not al­low this com­mit­tee to be used as a po­lit­i­cal arena to drive the agenda of the senator at the ex­pense of truth and the peo­ple of Mu­rang’a, gov­er­nor says

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Parliament - GIDEON KETER @TheS­tarKenya

Anger, mus­cle flex­ing and heated ver­bal con­fronta­tions be­tween Mu­rang’a Gov­er­nor Mwangi Wairia and Senator Kembi Gi­tura yes­ter­day marred a Se­nate com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Wairia ap­peared be­fore the Se­nate Pub­lic Ac­counts and In­vest­ments Com­mit­tee at Par­lia­ment Build­ings. He in­ter­rupted Gi­tura who was mak­ing his pre­sen­ta­tions and pok­ing holes in the re­sponse given by the county govern­ment on au­dit queries.

The gov­er­nor ap­peared to an­swer au­dit ques­tions in the Au­di­tor Gen- eral’s 2013-14 au­dit re­port. Wairia ac­cused Gi­tura, who is also the Se­nate deputy speaker, of us­ing the com­mit­tee to set­tle po­lit­i­cal scores.

Gi­tura asked the gov­er­nor to ex­plain why the county bought 34 acres at Sh340 mil­lion while a pri­vate prop­erty val­uer had priced it in 2015 at Sh194 mil­lion.

“I will not al­low this com­mit­tee to be used as a po­lit­i­cal arena to drive the agenda of the senator at the ex­pense of truth and the peo­ple of Mu­rang’a, ” Wairia said.

The gov­er­nor kept on in­ter­rupt­ing ev­ery senator who at­tempted to speak and threat­ened to walk out. Wairia said com­mit­tee chair­man Anyang Ny­ong’o was un­fair to him as he was not given ad­e­quate time to re­spond to allegations lev­elled against him.

“I will not al­low Senator Gi­tura to ma­lign my name here. I will not keep quiet any­more,” Wairia said, amid up­roar from sen­a­tors.

The county chief ac­cused his senator of us­ing a “fake” val­u­a­tion re­port, yet the county govern­ment val­uers had val­ued and quan­ti­fied the land said to be along Kenol-Ka­bati road.

Gi­tura kept calm, warn­ing the gov­er­nor that he can­not in­tim­i­date him by mak­ing noise as it is his re­spon­si­bil­ity as the senator to raise any is­sues af­fect­ing the county. Ny­ong’o or­dered the Ser­jeant–at-Arms to throw out two of­fi­cials who at­tempted to shout down Gi­tura.

/JACK OWUOR

Se­nate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gi­tura at his of­fice yes­ter­day, where he ac­cused Mu­rang’a Gov­er­nor Mwangi Wairia of threat­en­ing his life

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