NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17- Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has called on members of the Senate watchdog committee to shun away from politicizing audit queries.
The Murang’a governor who appeared before the County Public Accounts and Investments committee accused the committee members of trying to pin down governors on issues raised by auditor general for their own political mileage.
“The problem with some of you senators is that you pick issues and you want to drive them politically without allowing the due process of this proceeding to take place and I think it is high time such actions are managed. Some of us governors become very frustrated when you become overly active and enthusiastic when you are grilling a governor and you do not do the same when we raise real devolution issues,” said Wa Iria.
In their rejoinder, the senators led by Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi and his Murang’a Counterpart Irungu Kang’ata ruled out governor’s allegations as out of order saying they are only executing their oversight role.
“In my communication with the members of the public, I have a right and all the freedom to tell people what I am doing, what I am planning to do or what has not been done. That should not be taken as if I am undermining my governor. Our role is clearly stipulated in the constitution and that is what we are doing here,” Wamatangi affirmed.
His sentiments were echoed by Kang’ata who refuted claims by Governor Wa Iria that his latest media appearances were meant to tarnish the county executive’s name.
“Chair let me say this because my name has been mentioned by the governor. The things I have said could only be malicious if I spoke before these documents were generated. It is true I did a press conference but I strictly concentrated o the issues that the auditor general had raised. Therefore, it is not a political battle neither is it malicious,” Kang’ata said.
The governor was appearing before the committee chaired by Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang’ to answer queries raised in 2017/2018 financial year by the Auditor General.
He was hard pressed to explain why the milk plant in Murang’a has stalled.
A back and forth exchange between Wa Iria and Kang’ata ensued after Kang’ata alleged that the people working there have not been paid.
His remarks were not taken well by the governor who asked him to quit what he termed as “cheap” politics
“Chair let us not start with cheap campaign here and Kang’ata I did not come for that. You cannot come here and pretend to speak on behalf of those people without evidence of them not being paid. Produce documents because I will not allow you to bring cheap politics on the milk issue,” he said.
It took the intervention of the committee Chair Moses Kajwang’ to bring the proceedings back to order.