Gov Waithaka to be grilled over graft claims

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By DENNIS ODUNGA
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Nyandarua Governor Daniel Waithaka is expected to appear before a Senate watchdog committee to respond to audit queries flagged in the 2014/15 financial year auditor-general’s report.

The County Public Accounts and Investments Committee is fast-tracking the process to complete examining the financial accounts of the 47 county governments before the August polls.

But committee members have expressed concerns that they are being frustrated by governors who are reluctant to appear before the team.

Two governors – Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a) and Samuel Wamathai (Nyeri) – have sent apologies, saying they were unable to attend due to other pressing commitments.

During the last session, Mr Wa Iria was declared a hostile witness after he engaged in a fierce verbal exchange with the committee, whereas Mr Wamathai assumed office on February 27, following the death of Nderitu Gachagua.

The committee has warned governors to take the oversight sessions seriously, saying as custodians of county interests, they will not entertain governors and Speakers of county assemblies who resist calls to account for public funds.

Governors Peter Munya (Meru), William Kabogo (Kiambu), Godana Doyo (Isiolo), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia) failed to honour their appointments with the committee, citing other commitments.

County bosses, just like MPs, are busy campaigning for the party primaries that officially run from April 13 to 22.

Some fear revelations that they could not account for millions of shillings might jeopardise their chances of being nominated and eventually winning the polls.

The auditor-general’s reports have revealed massive plunder of public resources at the national and county levels, raising concerns that misusing funds would hamper development.

The report indicates that internal audits were ineffective in most counties, and hence allowing financial mismanagement that could have been avoided.

In what is widely viewed as a deliberate measure to collude and pave the way for corruption, many governors failed to instil financial management discipline in their officers.

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