NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – Governors on Tuesday afternoon resolved to snub summonses from the Senate committee probing financial mismanagement, until they get an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court.
According to Isaac Ruto of Bomet, the Governors will only heed the directives after all matters are streamlined by the courts and asked the committee to allow time for the decision.
“We have sought the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court of Kenya. Since the matter has been filed, we should give the Kenyan court time to articulate and give directions on the issues,” Ruto who also chairs the Council of Governors said.
“Since these matters are now before court we are unable to attend the Senate sittings in relation to those summonses,” he explained.
He however urged the committee not to label their decision as contempt but a chance to allow for the rule of law to prevail.
“This should not be construed as an act of defiance, we believe in the rule of law and accountability in governance.”
“Indeed there cannot be any democratic system of government without transparency and accountability; therefore in respect to the rule of law we would want to defer,” he observed.
However, Kitui County Governor Julius Malombe on Tuesday morning appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to respond to misappropriation of funds allegations.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee Billow Kerrow questioned Malombe on the county revenues as the figures reflected were lower than the amount budgeted for.
“You raised local revenue amounting to only Sh58.9 million only for three months which is significantly lower than budgeted and this is only eight percent of what is earned annually yet you are approximately expected to raise about 25 percent.”
“Explain to this committee why this is the case,” Kerrow prodded.
Malombe in his defence blamed the failure to meet the targets on the slow pace in the rolling out of devolution and the challenges faced in the process.
“We had anticipated receiving some money from the devolved departments and that never worked out as anticipated.”
“What happened is that the Transitional Authority was late in gazetting the devolved functions,” explained Malombe.
The Kitui Governor however admitted that they had noticed inconsistencies in payments and transactions in the county finances.
“We did notice cases where some of the former local authority payments were questionable and we are following on that and we have even suspended some people.”
“There was an incident where some lawyers were paid a total of Sh10 million but the services to which the money was paid did not reflect,” he added.
Governors issue with summons by the Senate are Ruto (Bomet), Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), William Kabogo (Kiambu), Malombe (Kitui), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Kinuthia Mbugua (Nakuru), Samuel Tunai (Narok), Hussein Dado (Tana River) and Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir).