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Mombasa county asks deputy governor to refund money it says she accrued

A document by acting county secretary Alphonse Mrima, states that Ms Katana was advanced Sh1,139,842 on February 10, 2015, and Sh1,207,004 on December 1, 2016.

Mombasa Deputy Governor Hazel Katana is in the spotlight after the county government demanded that she refunds more than Sh3 million it says she accrued over the past three years from imprest and salary advances she could not account for.

According to the county government, between July 2014 and December last year, Ms Katana was paid Sh8,928,093 as salary advances and imprest, but has not yet accounted for Sh3,924,484, while Sh5,003609 has so far been recovered.

While some of the payments were authorised by Governor Ali Hassan Joho, the deputy governor is listed as having authorised most of them.

It is said that on April 8, 2015, she received Sh624,867 as imprest for a trip to France and on September 8, 2016, she was paid Sh648,622 for a trip to the US.

“The deputy governor is required to pay the county Sh3,924,484, before expiry of her term,” said an official from the public service office who requested not to be named citing sensitivity of the matter.

Contacted on Thursday, Richard Chacha, the county government’s director of communications and public relations, declined to comment.

Ms Katana has had a frosty relationship with her boss for nearly the entire term which culminated in her defection to Jubilee Party last week.

She also announced she would contest the senate seat on her new party’s ticket.

When she defected, she said she had been denied her salary for one year.

On Thursday, Ms Katana asked why the county had released the document then.

“The question you should ask yourselves is why now?” She declined further comment since some issues were being pursued by her lawyers.

Recounting her tribulations when she announced her defection, Ms Katana said: “I went without salary for a whole year and I persevered abuses including being told I am lazy”.

“I was told I am an idler, stupid and unable to do anything. Other sufferings I cannot reveal in public,” she said.

After her defection, Mr Chacha however said Ms Katana was still the deputy governor of Mombasa.

“She will carry out her duties until her term is over,” he said.

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