NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – The Senate Committee on County Public Accounts and Investment was Tuesday forced to adjourn a sitting after auditors who scrutinized Kajiado County financial statements for the 2016/2017 Financial Year skipped a scheduled appearance.
Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku said he cannot take responsibility for their absence, compelling the committee to reschedule his appearance to July 22.
Senators questioned why the hub auditors failed to appear, undermining the committee’s ability to proceed with the intended scrutiny of Kajiado’s statements.
“This matter is very serious chair because I do not understand why the auditors failed to appear before this committee something that has never happened before. Is it a coincidence that the Governor is asking for more time to prepare financial statements and at the same time the very people who audited them are not present?” Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina wondered.
Other committee members raised concerns saying the absence of the auditors was questionable given that they had over three months to prepare for the meeting.
“Chair, this whole narratie is not adding up and we need try and add up whatever the governor is telling us and the absence of the hub auditors to understand what is really happening. We understand he is a first-time governor but that does not explain why there is unpreparedness on his part with regard to this financial matter,” said Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri.
After the committee deliberated on the matter, Senator Moses Kajwang (Homabay) who chairs the committee ruled that it would not be procedural to continue with the meeting without the auditors who act as prosecutors in the context of examination of financial records.
He ordered Governor Lenku to appear next week on Monday.
“I might not at it as an illegality, but I will say that it would be unpractical, and it will be against the precedent that we have set for this house to continue without the auditors,” Kajwang’ ruled.
“Therefore, I will rule that we deal with this matter earliest we have the time to so and that would be on Monday next week. So, Governor Lenku go and organize your house and avail all the required documents when you appear before this committee. “
The committee resumed its grilling sessions for county bosses on Tuesday after returning from a long recess.
29 Governors are already lined to appear before the committee in an exercise slated to end in September.