NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27- Former Auditor General Edward Ouko has described the impeachment petition which was filed against him in 2017 as the most trying moment in his eight years in office.
While addressing the media in Nairobi, Ouko said although his tenure in office has not been easy, he did his best despite facing various challenges that would have negatively affected his mandate.
He urged leaders to accept positive criticism from his successor without politicizing his/her recommendations on issues of public expenditure.
“The number of attacks were many and the first one was the one which was being driven through the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and then when the DPP said there was no reason to charge me, then a petition was filed in parliament against me. It was unfair and the same people who were supposed to protect me were among those attacking me,” Ouko said.
Ouko exuded confidence that President Uhuru Kenyatta will appoint someone who will hold leaders and institutions accountable on how they use public funds without fear or favor.
“There is a lot we need to work on in terms of institutions to get to a desired point where the Auditors’ report leads to instant action. As we are set up I do the report and submit it to Public Accounts Committee, then they do another report based on my report and the recommendations that we make cannot be acted on until they are adopted by the House and the adoption process is always shrouded by a lot of issues and politics,” Ouko whose term ended Monday said.
“I do not know my successor yet and I have no part to play in that, but I trust the appointing authority will pick someone who will protect public funds and the interests of all citizens without fear of intimidation.”
Ouko was appointed on August 27, 2011 by then President Mwai Kibaki.
In 2017, calls to remove him from office suffered a significant setback after DPP cleared him of corruption allegations.
In a petition filed in Parliament, Emmanuel Mwagambo, a lawyer, sought the Auditor-General’s removal from office citing at least 30 grounds on which Ouko would be impeached from office.
Mwagambo claimed Ouko had benefited from the award of a Sh100 million contract for the acquisition of an Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) platform.
Keriako Tobiko who was the DPP then, admitted he had been under pressure to prosecute Ouko over the procurement of the Audit Vault software system.
Earlier in 2016, Ouko came under serious criticism from political leaders over his investigations into the Sh280 billion Eurobond saga after the national government disputed claims funds had been misappropriated.