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Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri. /FILE.

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Senators fire back at CoG on harassment claim, insist Governors must be audited

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 4 – The Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee has hit out at the Council of Governors (CoG) for defending county bosses who fail to honor invites on audit queries.

The Committee Chairperson, who is also Kisii Senator, Samson Ongeri said the committee and by extension the Senate would not abdicate it’s role to oversight counties because a section of the Governors had proved to be difficult.

While citing the case of Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria who has, on numerous occasions, ignored the committee’s invitations, Ongeri the committee will not be “blackmailed, threatened or our integrity mudded by a few Governors who are afraid to account for the many billions in their disposal”.

Governor Wa Iria who is also the CoG Vice-Chairperson was recently fined Sh500,000 by the for failing to honor the summons.

“Governors need to be reminded that accountability before the committee is not collective through the Council of Governors but is individual responsibility of each governor,” Ongeri said a day after the CoG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya issued a statement saying the committee was harrassing governors, demanding that they appear physically despite an agreement for virtual sessions due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee last week petitioned the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to arrest Governor Wa Iria and present him before it “on September 10, to answer audit queries in three financial years from 2015 to 2018”.

Ongeri referred to Wa Iria as a “fugitive of justice who must tell Muranga people how he spent their resources”.

The former Education Minister warned Governor Wa Iria not to take the matter lightly and stop casting aspersions on the integrity of the committee.

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“Instead of the Muranga Governor addressing himself for failing to honour our summons or otherwise produce himself before us, he has taken a dangerous path,” Ongeri said.

Oparanya has said that Governors will not bow to what he describes as the “extortionist nature of the committee”.

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