Senate team scoffs at governors' dissolution threat - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 6 September 2020

Senate team scoffs at governors' dissolution threat

 Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, who is the committee chair, issued the warning on Friday.

A Senate watchdog committee has told governors that they will not be allowed to threaten or blackmail lawmakers in the course of their work.

The Public Accounts and Investment Committee chaired by Sam Ongeri said on Friday it was regrettable that governors had resorted to sideshows to avoid accounting for billions of shillings disbursed to them.

“We shall not be blackmailed or threatened by a few governors who do not want to account for the monies they have received. Our role is to protect the interest of the counties,” Ongeri stated.

The governors on Thursday said they will not honour committee invitations until funds are disbursed to counties.

The Senate determines the allocation of national revenue among counties and exercises the oversight role.

The Constitution also gives powers to the Senate and its committees to summon governors to account for the funds received.

The senators have since fined Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria Sh500,000 for failing to honour their summons.

“Governor Mwangi wa Iria was fined Sh500,000 for failing to attend to the committee physically despite being invited several times. He is a fugitive of justice who must tell Murang’a people how he spent their resources,” Ongeri said.

The committee has asked Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to arrest and present the governor before the committee on September 10 to answer audit queries in three financial years from 2015.

It invoked the Powers and Privileges Act that grants a parliamentary committee the power to order the arrest witnesses who snub invites or summons.

Ongeri said: “Instead of Murang'a governor addressing himself for failing to honour our summons or otherwise produce himself before us, he has taken a dangerous path of casting aspersions on the integrity of the committee. This is unacceptable.”

He added: “The EACC they are asking to investigate this committee sits here with us daily. We perform our activities in open and in broad day light.” 

The Council of Governors had issued a two-week notice to suspend all county services until the Senate sorts out the revenue allocation formula stalemate.

"If the prevailing situation persists, effective Thursday, September 17, counties will have no choice but to shut down," the CoG said in a statement.

County governments are unable to pay salaries and allowances of health workers and other county staff due to lack of funds.

The county bosses also threatened to sponsor a motion to dissolve the Senate for failing to safeguard the interests of their governments by stalling debate on the third basis revenue allocation formula.

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