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Governors to face corruption queries, says Devolution CS

It is not over yet for governors who lost in the elections but still face audit queries or corruption-related cases in court.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said affected former county bosses will have to present themselves for scrutiny when summoned by parliamentary committees for accountability.

“They will be summoned as holders of that office and not as individuals. Any of them with questions to answer will continue doing so because the law must take its course,” Mr Kiunjuri said.

The CS made the remarks during a press conference on Tuesday in Nairobi where he also released dates and venues for the swearing-in of new governors, which will be confirmed upon being gazetted.

Early this year, the Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investments Committees had recommended to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations that governors and staff in eight out of 10 counties, whose records were questionable, be subjected to investigations and those found culpable prosecuted.

FINANCIAL MALPRACTICES

The initial report covered Kiambu, Busia, Tana River, Trans Nzoia, Nyandarua, Migori, Kwale, Kisumu, Samburu and Kericho counties in the first year of devolution.

The committee had singled out breach of procurement guidelines as one of the most common financial malpractices in the counties.

Issues of foreign travel and imprests not surrendered also featured prominently during the senators’ probe on county expenditures.

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Some of the governors who lost and had been cited in the report include William Kabogo (Kiambu), Daniel Waithaka (Nyandarua) and Jack Ranguma (Kisumu).

Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo is also facing charges over an irregular Supplementary Appropriation Act 2014 alleged to have been passed by the County Assembly of Isiolo on December 11, 2014. Mr Nathif Jama of Garissa was also charged.

GRATUITY

The minister further said that governors who lost would only be entitled to a send-off package.

Governors earned a basic salary of Sh854,241 per month,  which means that those exiting are entitled to a gratuity of about Sh12.2 million each.

This is equivalent to 31 per cent of their annual basic pay for every year served.

On the swearing-in plans, all counties have confirmed the dates and venues of the activity.

The devolved units have also submitted draft Gazette notices announcing the same for publication. The dates fall between August 17 and 21.

“This is the first time the country is experiencing a transition of county leadership and, therefore, it is necessary for the ministry to provide guidance on these matters,” Mr Kiunjuri said.

Presidential Adviser on Constitutional Affairs Mohammed Abdikadir said petitions against election of governors cannot cause suspension of the  swearing-in of newly-elected  county bosses.

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