• The senator says the gloomy state of affairs as reported by Ouko should worry residents.
• Linturi was making his first address to the Meru assembly since his election in 2017.
The gloomy state of affairs of the Meru county government as recorded by Auditor General Edward Ouko in his 2017-18 report should worry area residents, Senator Mithika Linturi has said.
Linturi, who was making his maiden address to the Meru County Assembly since his election in 2017, said devolution was not meant to enrich a few individuals but to benefit the majority.
He said tenders should be awarded to contractors residing in wards where those projects are located.
"We must endeavour to spend within the limits of our budgetary allocations and desist from acquiring money unjustly," the senator said on Thursday.
He said his concern should not be interpreted as a war on Governor Kiraitu Murungi for whom he campaigned vigorously against former governor Peter Munya.
“My loyalty is to the people of Meru and my fidelity is to the constitution of Kenya. I am mandated to oversight resources allocated to Meru county. I endeavour to be objective. I oversight the county government based on evidence. We are in a good working relationship with Governor Kiraitu. However, my personal relationship with the county executive cannot compromise my oversight role,” he said.
Linturi said the county director of medical services was irregularly paid Sh1 million to attend a course at Yonsei University Health in South Korea yet the admission letter indicated that accommodation would be catered for by the university.
Other irregularities included the transfer of Sh21.5 million to Rural Electrification Authority, payment of Sh8 million to the Council of Governors, the operation of 21 bank accounts with Sh223 million contrary to public finance management Act which requires that all county bank accounts be at the Central bank of Kenya.
Linturi said, "It will be unfortunate if devolution is used to create 60 billionaires against 1.6 million people in Meru."
He said MCAs should ask the executive to shed light on the auditor general's report.