Oparanya summoned by Senators over audit queries

October 1, 2014 1:23 pm
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The Governor had been invited to appear on Wednesday morning but instead sent the Finance Executive Paul Otsola and the County Secretary Jeremiah Were who produced a court order they said barred the Governor from appearing/FILE
The Governor had been invited to appear on Wednesday morning but instead sent the Finance Executive Paul Otsola and the County Secretary Jeremiah Were who produced a court order they said barred the Governor from appearing/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has been ordered to appear before the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee after he failed to honor an invitation by the committee to respond to audit queries.

The Governor had been invited to appear on Wednesday morning but instead sent the Finance Executive Paul Otsola and the County Secretary Jeremiah Were who produced a court order they said barred the Governor from appearing.

“If the Governor received a letter calling him here and he knew had an order, I don’t know why he didn’t exhaust other avenues either to drop a message other than using taxpayer’s expenses,” posed Nyamira Senator Kennedy Mong’are.

The committee was not satisfied with explanations of the county executives with most members urging the Chairman Boni Khalwale to go ahead and issue summons to Oparanya, which he did.

“I think it would have been prudent for him just to write to us and tell us that listen… I have this court order and I am not going to appear,” Vihiga Senator George Khaniri said.

“I have heard your anger, and it therefore forces me to direct that the Office of the Clerk to issues summons forthwith to the Governor of Kakamega so that he appears before us in the next 14 days,” directed Khalwale.

Khalwale who incidentally is the Senator of the Kakamega went on to explain to the county executive’s the consequences of Oparanya’s failure to appear before the committee.

“We would like you to surrender all the travel receipts plus accommodation receipts and you liaise with the auditors, the amount that will be computed from it. The Governor of Kakamega will be surcharge for wasteful expenditure.”

Some of the issues raised by the Auditor General are misappropriation and irregular diversion of county funds, lack of documentation to support spending of county funds and contravention of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.

“The auditor found that upon entry into office, the Governor of Kakamega took Sh5.2 million being funds for LATF, and went and bought a car, diverted it and bought a car for himself and when he was asked to produce log books for this vehicle that he bought, he did not give. We want to know why he diverted the funds to buy a car for himself,” stated Khalwale.

According to the auditor’s report, there also were no proper records of debtors and no evidence of efforts to recover the lost money totalling over Sh10.2 million.

Khalwale pointed out that stringent measures would be undertaken to ensure accountability in the counties, this coming on the background of a refusal by over five Governors top appear before the committee.

The Kakamega Governor will be required to appear before the committee on November 11 after the committee realised it would be unable to meet him within 14 days.

Oparanya now joins fellow Governors from Kiambu, Bomet, Kisumu and Garissa who have also been summoned.

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