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Auditor-general accuses parties of meddling in work of ward reps

Millions of shillings are lost in counties because the custodians are under pressure from political parties not to expose financial malpractices, the deputy auditor-general, Mr David Gichana, has said.

In some counties, virtually all ward reps are from the ruling coalition and cannot portray the government in bad light.

Mr Gichana spoke on Friday during the second annual legislative summit in Mombasa.

Ideally, oversight committees are drawn from the Opposition because they can question financial irregularities without fear or favour.

But, with shifting political loyalty, he said many politicians cannot be trusted to safeguard public funds.

“You may have the right members but, what is their political affiliation?”

Some oversight committee members did not know the audit queries they were expected to interrogate.

Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, who is the chairman of the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee accused some leaders of taking Parliament’s oversight mandate for granted.

But ward reps accused the Senate and the auditor-general of sitting on audit reports and protecting the corrupt.

Mr Steve Ambulwa from Kakamega County said reps had been faulted for siding with governors yet they had not been assisted to independently oversee the use of public funds.

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