The chairpersons of Public Accounts Committees drawn from the 47 counties led by Secretary General Kipyego Kitur from Trans Nzoia say the Senate is overriding their mandate by probing reports of the Auditor General outlining the spending of county funds.
“The Senate should deal with matters referred to it by the County Assembly as an appellate body. The County Assembly Public Accounts committee is up to the task and they are equal to the task. So, the PAC committee of the Senate, Hon. Khalwale give us peace… let us nurture devolution,” stated Kitur.
Under the umbrella of Accountability Kenya, the PAC chairpersons have been undergoing a week-long training to educate them on their role in protecting counties.
They say the Senate is doing the same thing they are doing, albeit from a different location.
“For instance the issue of Bomet County Assembly where the PAC has already passed that actually there was no misappropriation of Sh185 million, and they have proved that. Today, the Uasin Gishu County is at the Senate and yet we as PIC and PAC we tabled the report yesterday and it is still a continuation now in the Senate, now whose report will be relevant for this case?” posed Uasin Gishu County Assembly PAC Chairman, Ramadhan Ali.
The MCAs went on to claim that their attempts to contact the Senate to inform them of their woes have gone unanswered; they however did not have any proof of the correspondence.
While seemingly admitting the fact that the County Assemblies do not have the capacity to handle some issues, the MCAs urged the Senate to consider strengthening them.
The MCAs are now threatening legal action if the Senates Public Accounts and Investments Committee continues probing the Auditor General’s reports in respect to the counties.
“Eventually we shall go to the Supreme Court for constitutional interpretation on the functions of the assemblies vis-a-vis the functions of the Senate because the Senate is calling the executives; we are also calling the executive asking the same question,” added Kitur.
Earlier in the day, the MCAs had a meeting with Council of Governors Chairman Isaac Ruto who addressed them on his reasons for defying the Senate’s summons to appear.
In a telephone conversation with Capital FM News, Ruto firmly stated that he did not intend to appear before the Khalwale-led committee unless the courts ruled that he should.