NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 17- Chief Justice David Maraga has challenged the country’s first female Auditor General Nancy Gathungu who took the oath of office on Friday to protect the interest of the public as she embarks on discharging her mandate.
Maraga, who presided over the swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Court, urged her to discharge her duties without fear or favour. She will be in office for eight years.
“The appointment to the office you are assuming today is not only honorable but very important. From now, you will be the ‘Wanjiku’s’ eye. The duty to protect theft of the public resources falls on the office you have been appointed for. I am glad that you have been in this office and so build on the knowledge that you have acquired. You may step on toes, some of them very thick but you are required to discharge your duties without fear or favor,” Maraga said.
Gathungu who succeeds Edward Ouko whose term in office ended last year in August vowed to hit the ground running, pledging to clear the audit backlog.
“I am assuming office at challenging times owing to the gap that existed between the expiry of the term of my former colleague and predecessor and my recruitment. This has occasioned a backlog of audit reports spanning a period of 11 months,” she said
“My priority, therefore, would be to put up mechanisms to clear audit backlog as soon as possible,” she assured.
Gathungu further pledged to base her term in office on transparency, accountability, relevance and independence.
On his part, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua exuded confidence that Gathungu will deliver on her mandate and challenged her not to shy away from speaking to the authority when wrongs are committed.
“There are high expectations from all stakeholders including the public who expect you to protect their resources. I have no doubt that you are fit for the job and you have the Executive’s full support and that of the other arms of the government,” Kinyua said.
Gathungu was nominated for the post by President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 19, and approved by Parliament last week.
Gathungu was among three candidates presented to the President for nomination by the Recruitment Panel.
She has been working as the Director of Audit in the Office of the Auditor General.