NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 10 – The Senate Committee on Health has resolved to summon Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati for failing to appear before it for the second time in a row to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor-General in the Special Audit on COVID-19 funds.
The Committee Vice-Chairman and Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ali said Wangamati had been invited by the Committee to re-appear before it on Tuesday after a botched meeting on May 31 since his responses and accompanying documents had not been received and reviewed by the Auditor-General’s Office.
“Having indulged the Governor’s non-appearance in Wednesday’s scheduled meeting by re-inviting him to a meeting on Thursday, the Committee on Health has taken great exception to his frivolous excuses and treatment of the Senate with contempt,” she stated.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula who appeared as a friend of the Committee said that the Senate cannot play second fiddle to the Council of Governors “meetings and funerals” that the Governor alleged to be attending.
“We shall implement the full extent of the law including the possibility of sanctions and fines which the Senate is at liberty to impose,” said Wetangula.
The Committee will be issuing summons for Governor Wangamati to appear before it physically upon the expiry of seven days, after seeking leave of the Speaker.
Article 125 of the Constitution and Sections 18 and 20 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, No. 29 of 2017 empower the Senate and any of its Committees to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information.
Upon failure to attend before a Committee once summoned, the Committee may impose a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings or may order for arrest pursuant to Sections 19(1) and 19(3), respectively, of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, 2017.