Act on loss of millions in counties, senators tell graft agency

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By DENNIS ODUNGA
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The anti-graft agency has been asked to speedily investigate that counties have lost millions of shillings after governors colluded with county staff to deposit public funds in private accounts.

This comes as senators expressed outrage over the slow implementation of Senate resolutions, especially petitions presented to Parliament by members of the public.

The lawmakers from the finance committee, observed that many masterminds of serious financial flaws were walking scot-free due to failure by the investigating agencies and parliamentary committees to take action.

They said the Senate implementation committee was sleeping on the job. The committee is chaired by Siaya Senator James Orengo and monitors and ensures that what is agreed in the House is implemented.

Temporary Speaker, Dr Wilfred Machage, infuriated the senators when he ordered a report on a petition on financial flaws at Bungoma County sent to the petitioners without explaining how those suspected of misappropriating public funds should be dealt with.

The report indicated that Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka failed to provide documentation on the allegations that more than Sh300 million was deposited in Ms Lilian Wafula’s bank account between January 31, 2014 and December 2015.

The committee noted that the huge deposits were accompanied by corresponding large withdrawals from the account but the county government could not justify the transactions.

The members recommended that the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions investigates the matter, which also involves the County Treasury.

“Cash taken from a county government to a personal account. Counties are bleeding. We need a report from the implementation committee,” Mr Billow Kerrow, who is the Finance Committee chairman, said.

The committee recommended that Mr Lusaka be dismissed if the allegations being investigated by the EACC and DPP are found to be true.

Mr Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni) reminded members that the Senate had been accused of watching helplessly as governors pilferage taxes.

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma) said: “It is only fair and just not to the House alone but to the petitioners that a follow-up is done to ensure those who waste public funds face the law.”


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