NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – Wajir Members of the County Assembly on Wednesday accused Governor Mohamed Mohamud of giving her spouse a free hand to manage county affairs, a situation they said had led to misuse of funds from the county coffers.
Diif Ward MCA Shueb Bare told a special Senate Committee probing the impeachment of Governor Mohamud the county chief abuses his office to the extent of allowing his wife to chair some of the county meetings and award tenders to her associates.
Bare submitted financial documents showing huge amounts of money having been deposited to First Lady Kheira Omar’s accounts with no explanation given to the County Assembly.
“We have issues with the first lady because we have evidence showing instances where she has taken bribe for county projects and money has been deposited to her account. On 9th of October 2019, a sum of Sh6 million was deposited to her account and 11th October a sum of Sh2 million was also deposited to her account and it was a straight kickback,” Bare said.
He further accused Wajir first lady of using her position to facilitate tender awards for a record 13 times to one man who allegedly runs proxy companies for the governor and his wife
“One director called Abdi Jimal owns 7 companies and I have said in my affidavit that he runs proxy companies for the governor and his wife. He has been paid a total of Sh305,447,589 that is just one director and a single release from Treasury can be paid to 6 companies yet we have suppliers who have not been paid Sh1 million shillings since 2016,” Bare said.
In his submissions, Member of the County Assembly for Tula Tula Ward Abdulahi Isaac accused Mohamud of gross misappropriation of the County Funds including Sh2.6 billion allocated for development in the 2018/2019 financial year that is not accounted to date.
Abdulahi who moved the motion which saw the governor impeached by 37 MCAs said the County Executive diverted the money to other uses instead of paying suppliers and workers who offered services to the County
“We budgeted and allocated that money for water and roads development but until today we still have pending bills for work done and not paid for yet the money was released. The money was diverted for other things and it cannot be accounted for,” he said.
The two ward representatives also accused the governor of transferring county money to his son and daughter’s accounts.
Abdulahi further pointed out that Sh149 million meant for procuring bales of maize flour for the County had not been accounted for.
The governor denied all allegations leveled against him by the MCAs saying his impeachment was politically instigated.
“It is my humble plea that the committee will have time to look at the uniqueness circumstances that the Somali Community finds itself in the formation of the government at the County level. I believe the allegations contained in the impeachment by Wajir Assembly are politically motivated with malice and witch-hunt,” Mohamud said.
His lawyers Paul Nyamodi and Ndegwa Njiru pleaded with the committee to protect the integrity and professionalism of the Governor saying his reputation in the public service speaks for itself and his impeachment was only meant to tarnish his name.
“The man before you is an innocent man. He is a man who is facing a fishing expedition prosecution. We urge you to protect the man before you, to protect his integrity and uphold his dignity as prescribed in Article 29 of the Constitution,” Ndegwa pleaded.
Governor Mohamud was impeached on April 27 in a vote supported by 37 MCAs against 10.
Grounds cited by the MCAs included gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, poor service delivery and gross misconduct.
The County Assembly represented by lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi exuded confidence that with the evidence they have, the committee will have no choice but to uphold Mohamud’s impeachment
“When we take you through the evidence and show you the graphic but scary incompetence and corruption of the governor of Wajir County, you will reach to a conclusion that Governor Mohamud must be taken out of the political equation of Wajir County,” Abdullahi submitted.
“We boldly submit that if the Senate cannot remove him, it will probably not remove any other governor. The evidence is overwhelming. The evidence is indicting.”
Abdullahi had earlier made a request to have governor’s wife, son and daughter summoned as witnesses in his impeachment hearing.
He argued that the three are the epicenter of all the allegations leveled against the governor including abuse of office and financial impropriety.
The request was however opposed by governor’s lawyers who said there was no basis as to summon the three arguing the move might affect future cohesiveness of governor’s family should they be compelled to appear as witnesses.
The Committee Chairperson Senator Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira) ruled that the hearing proceedings concern the governor alone and there were no viable reasons as to why his family should be summoned to appear as witnesses.
On Thursday, the governor’s lawyers will cross examine the two witnesses and also defend the governor against the charges leveled against him with 6 witnesses lined up for his defense before the committee retreats to make its verdict.