Senator wants governors’ lifestyles audited

Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura has petitioned the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) to conduct a life style audit on all the 47 governors to unravel the wealth they have acquired while in office.

Gitura said cases of graft in the counties are escalating and if not checked properly, the county bosses will impoverish residents.

“It is important that a proper audit is done on the governors to establish how they have accrued such wealth within such a short time,” he said.

He has alleged that some governors are living expensive lifestyles and have even invested greatly in different parts of the country within a span of three years.

The senator said some governors lived very humble lives before becoming governors but have suddenly become extravagant.

Gitura who is also the Senate Deputy speaker, lauded devolution but condemned county chiefs for allegedly embezzling funds meant to spearhead development at grassroots.

“As senators we are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure money sent to devolved units is well utilised and governors should not think we are harassing them. Senators only want to ensure transparency and accountability of public money,” he noted.

Kembi warned that if corruption at county governments was not checked, devolution will be meaningless since wananchi will not get services envisaged in the spirit of devolution.

He urged the anti-graft body to urgently move with speed and audit the lifestyles of governors and other senior officials in county governments in a bid to establish if they have used public funds to enrich themselves.

 

This comes at a time that the county bosses have accused senators of failing to approve the schedule for the disbandment of cash to the counties for the current financial year, saying this has caused a crisis for the county governments. The committee, which has been in a marathon to question the 47 county executives and their respective county assemblies, will this Friday conclude the grilling sessions in respect to the 2013/2014 audit reports by the auditor general Edward Ouko.

After Friday, the committee will retreat from August 16 to write its reports whose contents will then be debated in the House.
But  it has emerged that some counties are yet to either submit required documents to clear outstanding queries flagged by the Auditor general or are yet to satisfy the committee even with documents available. Yesterday, the Senators put county chiefs on notice saying they will not in any way entertain non-submission of documents.

Nyeri, Nandi, Murang’a, Kisii, Bungoma, Kirinyaga, Siaya, Migori, Busia, Kilifi and Wajir are the county executives scheduled to appear before the watchdog committee between Tuesday and Friday to answer to audit quires before the committee winds up.

The Anyang’ Nyong’o-led committee has said it will recommend in its final reports to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), that governors with pending audit queries be barred from contesting in future elections until cleared.

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