, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – MPs and Governors are facing off in a new controversy over an alleged secret fund amounting to hundreds of millions of shillings set aside by counties to fund operations of the Council of Governors.
While the council’s chairman Peter Munya denied the existence of such a fund, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale Wednesday afternoon tabled documents detailing the amount each county has been remitting to the council for the Delta House rent and other expenses – all totalling Sh280 million.
“On office rent alone in Westlands when these Governors are supposed to be in our counties, they spent Sh41 million, in 2014/2015 they spent Sh134 million and this year alone they have spent Sh62 million. But the most outrageous thing is the amount of money they have spent on lawyers,” Duale stated.
He stated the need for the Governors’ umbrella body to be brought to account especially on why they were fleecing counties.
“You must call these people together with their lawyers and their landlords and ask them whether they operate from the counties or they operate from Nairobi. Is there an essence of why they should have a Council of Governors’ office and we should even ask the County Assemblies, under what provision in law were these funds transferred,” he stated.
The extravagant expenditures by governors is part of the reason MPs said they boycotted the devolution conference that kicked off in Meru Wednesday, saying they did not want to be part of a meeting that is just a waste of tax payers’ funds.
Munya who spoke at the conference earlier however denied the claims by the MPs, instead explaining that the Council of Governors is a State corporation.
“This notion is very difficult for me to even to explain because how can budgets that are done at the county level fund the Council of Governors which is a constitutional body?” he posed.
He further explained that the CoG was set up to act as a liaison between the Governors and the National Government.
“I think they are in need of some education on this particular issue. The CoG exits by law. It has functions many of which are of coordination of County Governments at the National Government. In fact what we have are very many challenges due to lack of resources to give the CoG the capacity it requires to be able to carry out its statutory mandate,” he said.
He emphasised that there was no illegal fund created and that was why the CoG was seeking help in the form of funds to help it carry out its duties effectively.