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Sonko accuses auditors of extortion, wants probe

Sonko faulted the auditor’s saying they wrote a negative report for Nairobi County after he refused to bribe them/file

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has called for the suspension and investigation of auditors who wrote the 2017/2018 financial reports for Nairobi and Kiambu Counties

Speaking in Roysambu constituency after his county’s monthly clean- up, Sonko faulted the auditor’s saying they wrote a negative report for Nairobi County after he refused to bribe them and a favourable one for Kiambu County which was discredited by the Senate watchdog committee.

“The same auditors went to Kiambu and they were given what I refused to give them, so they wrote a better report only to come before the Senate and so many issues were unearthed, and the committee rejected that report. I want to tell the Senate committee, if you are serious with your oversight role and you want to get rid of corruption; these auditors should be suspended until the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is done with its investigation,” said Sonko.

He has further called on politicians and those who critique his beautification project to shun away from politicizing the initiative insisting that he uses his personal money.

“We will continue planting the flowers, we will continue cleaning our county and those who are blind to what we are doing should ask the UN Habitat. Stop politicizing something that has no national budget allocation and finally people should stop being envious of what I am doing,” Sonko said.

While appearing before the County Public and Investment Committee on April 30, Sonko was pressed to explain how Sh18mn was spent on Nairobi beautification.

According to the Auditor General’s report, which Governor Sonko discredited and alleged that the auditors asked for a bribe, Sh98mn claimed to have been paid to a company associated to Meru Senator Mithika Linturi could not be accounted for.

For Kiambu County, the committee directed the Auditor General to conduct a special audit for the 2017/2018 financial year and submit a report within 45 days.

This was after it emerged that the county had budget lines for coordination of State House functions amounting to Sh937,839,449 and Administration of Statutory benefits for retired Presidents of Sh180,506,800 among others.

The committee members further faulted the Auditor General’s qualified opinion on Kiambu County which means that the county finances were well spent but the information provided was limited in scope and the county did not maintain accounting principles.

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They argued that the county had ghosts accounts which need to be taken seriously and those involved in misuse of public money held responsible.

Other budgets which the governor could not account for when he appeared before the committee on May 2 include Kenya South Sudan advisory services amounting to Sh58 million and free primary education for Sh800 million which left Senators wondering where the money could have gone.

Committee Chairperson Senator Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay) made the ruling after Governor Ferdinand Waititu said he was not aware of such accounts and promised that investigation will be done.

“Considering the grave issues, we have raised on the audit report and accompanying financial documents, this committee directs the Auditor General to undertake a special report of Kiambu County government for the financial year 2017/2018 and submit the report within 45 days. We shall have a side discussion with the auditors on how to practically carry out this exercise,” Kajwang’ directed.


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