, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto has been summoned by a Senate committee over audit queries amounting to Sh75 million in his county.
Ruto who chairs the Council of Governors is required to appear personally before the Senate Sessional Committee on County Public Accounts and Investments.
“This committee has directed the Office of the Clerk to immediately issue summons so that Governor Ruto under Article 125 of the Constitution can be compelled to respond to the audit queries that we fear occasioned the loss of government funds,” said the Senate Committee chairman Boni Khalwale.
He had been expected to appear before the committee which is tasked with overseeing how the 47 Governors use the billions of shillings under them on Tuesday but chose to send his County Secretary.
The Khalwale-led team also directed that the Bomet County Governor should be surcharged the amount unless he offers a satisfactory answer.
“You can imagine that all these officers, each one of them came in with four-wheel drives all the way from Bomet or maybe they drove to Kisumu and flew to Nairobi where they checked into a hotel; those are funds that are being extended from the County Treasury.”
Khalwale added; “even if the money doesn’t run into hundreds of thousands we want it to be a clear warning that this Senate will not sit and watch public money being expended wastefully.”
Ruto appeared before the House team last week and asked to be allowed time to produce documents which will support his response to the audit queries.
He was questioned on what he was doing to recover debts amounting to billions of shillings owed to the county by the national government and by individuals. He said he had written to the national Treasury to pay the debts.
The committee claims that the County Government of Bomet had received Sh185.6 million from the Transition Authority.
“The County Government Revenue Account where all revenue collected after the Governor went into office was supposed to be banked intact thus the defunct County Council banked the amount and closed the account but there was no evidence that the Revenue Control Sheet were checked by any senior officer to confirm the authenticity of revenue collected,” Khalwale quoted a section of the Auditor General report.
The Bomet Governor is also required to respond to procurement queries.
“There was a procurement of Sh1.8 million of items which were not taken on raising questions on the location of such assets that were purchased and if they were diverted for other use,” said the Audit Report.
The committee will on Wednesday meet Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and then Governor Mwangi wa Iria of Murang’a on Thursday as they continue with the scrutiny of county accounts.