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WORRYING CLAIMS

City finance officer fears for his life

Official says he has been threatened by MCAs and is unable to attended watchdog committee summons

In Summary

• MCAs accuse Waqo of mischief, saying he is trying to avoid watchdog committee.

• Committee was to look into Sh1.7 billion staff medical cover tender awarded to AAR.

Nairobi county chief officer for finance Halkano Waqo
ABSENT: Nairobi county chief officer for finance Halkano Waqo
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Nairobi finance chief officer Halkano Waqo has been missing from assembly committees sittings, saying he fears for his life.

On Tuesday, the Public Accounts committee was forced to adjourn after Waqo failed to appear.

The committee was to look into the Sh1.7 billion staff medical insurance cover tender awarded to AAR  which was questioned by the Auditor General's report for the financial year 2017-2018.

In a letter read by the committee chairman Wilfred Odalo, Waqo raised concerns over his security indicating that his life is under threat from MCAs.

“I am constrained to face any committee of the assembly due to open threats over my life. Until I get your assurance, please excuse me from appearing before any committee,” the letter reads.

It was addressed the county assembly clerk Jacob Ngwele and copied to acting  speaker Chege Mwaura, majority leader Abdi Hassan Guyo and his minority counterpart Elias Otieno .

Waqo also copied Governor Mike Sonko , acting county secretary Leboo Morintat and his finance boss Charles Kerich.

However, members of the committee did not take Waqo's absence lightly and smelt mischief from his decision not to attend the meeting.

Karen MCA David Mberia said it was impossible to carry out any probe without the chief officer for finance or a representative from the office .

Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto suggested that the county should provide Waqo with security to accompany him to the committee.

 
 

'The matter before us is very urgent and we need his presence because Sh1.7 billion is not a small issue ,' he said.

Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto in the Public Accounts Committee sitting on July 9,2019
Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto in the Public Accounts Committee sitting on July 9,2019
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Nominated MCAs June Ndegwa and Slyvia Musieya said Waqo was  being mischievous and trying to get an escape route from the watchdog committee.

"This is not right. The officer knows of other ways to address this issue. Chairman, you can just call him an uncooperative witness," Ndegwa said.

"The issue at hand is about money.The county can provide security so the officer should not dodge the committee. If he feels it is too much then he can resign," said Museiya.

In his letter, Waqo explained that trouble between him and the MCAs started on June 25 when members of the Legal and Justice committee approached him demanding to know when they will receive their per diems.

The chief officer for finance in his letter alleged that MCA Francis Otieno (Dandora IV) threatened of  him but was restrained by other MCAs.

The same week on June 26, Waqo again found himself in the midst of a nasty confrontation between him and the MCAs while attending the education committee over the delay of last year's bursary funds.

Acting county secretary Leboo Morintat urged the legislators to observe decorum so that everyone appearing or sitting in the committee is made comfortable.

'It is a bit worrying that an officer is fearing for his life to this extent in the capital city. This is not right and the chairman should look into this,'he said.

Nairobi County Acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat before the Public Accounts Committee on July 9,2019
Nairobi County Acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat before the Public Accounts Committee on July 9,2019
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA