NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – The National Assembly’s Finance and Trade Committee which is handling a petition seeking the removal of the Auditor General from office, has ruled that the petitioner, Emmanuel Mwagoah, must prosecute it in person.
Mwagoah had sought to simply have them interrogate his written memorandum, following claims his life is in danger.
“He has to appear in person and our Standing Orders provide for situations where we can hold proceeding in-camera and that will be decided when he is present here and he requests so,” Committee Chairman Benjamin Lang’at (Ainamoi) said.
In a letter to the committee, Mwagoah claimed he has been forced to take his family into hiding after he received threats.
“I have been called a gun for hire and maliciously termed a puppet for some unknown paymasters, whereas I am ready to attend and provide a more detailed brief, I believe that given the animosity that my actions have raised it’s prudent that I exercise caution. The detailed brief shall entail naming of persons and entities that were involved in the audit scandal and I must have been stepping on many toes,” reads the letter in part.
But the MPs insisted he must expound on the weighty allegations raised in the petition prompting Langat to direct the Clerk of the National Assembly to write to the Inspector-General of Police requesting he assign Mwagoah and his family security.
Mwagoah will now give his submission in a closed-door sitting when he appears before the Committee on Tuesday next week.
MPs Dr Oburu Oginga (Nominated), Raheem Dawood (Imenti North), Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu Town East) and Mary Emaase (Teso South) expressed concerned and questioned whether he has reported the matter to police.
“There must be some evidence, that someone has threatened him or something like that; then we take it seriously. Has he reported the matter to the police?” Oginga posed.
“He needs to come in person and tell us when he started experiencing security problems. He has to come in person because there are so many issues and we cannot cross- examine a memorandum,” Dawood stated.
The House Committee has until March 4 to submit it report on whether it has found justifiable grounds for the House to recommend to the President to appoint a tribunal to investigate Ouko in line with provisions of Article 251 of the Constitution.
The petitioner contends that the Auditor-General has among other charges violated Article 201(d) regarding prudent and responsible use of public funds by allegedly failing to prevent wastage of public funds.
Mwagoah accuses Ouko of breaching Article 73(2)(b) of the Constitution by ignoring merit and the approved scheme of service in the recruitment and promotion of employees in the Office of the Auditor-General.
The petitioner further claimed that Ouko had breached the Leadership and Integrity Act, alleging conflict of interest and the recruitment of some employees in 2015.
The petitioner heavily relies on a case in which Ouko was alleged to have procured an audit software at an inflated cost of Sh100 million.
This latest attempt, however comes barely a week after the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko cleared Ouko of the corruption allegations.
He however authorised prosecution of eight individuals from Ouko’s office, OSI Kenya Ltd and Oracle Kenya.