O answer the question whether in defence of the Cord governors ODM leader Raila Odinga has shot himself in the foot requires a clear understanding of our governance structure.
It also requires a proper understanding of the audit process, which, in this case, is being used to introduce other unrelated issues.
To start with, governors are not accounting officers. They are chief executives in the counties, the same way the President is the CEO at the national level.
At the national level, we have had scandals like the Sh1.6 billion theft at the National Youth Service, the Eurobond and the Sh5.3 billion at the Ministry of Health.
In all these instances, no one has claimed the President was personally involved in these scandals. The blame was placed with accounting officers and/or individual officers in the ministries concerned. The President’s name has been invoked only in regard to asking him to take stern action against such officers where it is widely considered they are involved in the theft of public funds
The main actors in the NYS are known, the Eurobond infamy has its suspects and we know that used containers in the name of mobile clinics were procured for Sh10 apiece million when the actual price was slightly over Sh1 million. Besides asking him to act, Raila never claimed that President Uhuru is directly involved in the scandals.
An audit query, on the other hand, is not proof of theft or corruption. There are many reasons why audit questions arise. Those adversely mentioned ought to be given time to explain themselves, failure which they then raises reasonable doubts on possible theft.
It is the same situation in the counties, instead of directing anger at the governors we need to focus our attention on accounting officers, to make them accountable. The governors should only be pressurized to act by way of ensuring those who bear responsibility for the corruption are punished.
That is the nature of our governance system. However, the anti-corruption cacophony we are seeing is simply diversionary.
The Jubilee administration have jumped on these audit reports on the counties to run away from their own shadows in the NYS, Afya House, and the Eurobond scams.
These reports have provided the Jubilee chiefs with a perfect opportunity to cover up the mega scandals being perpetrated at the national level.