Mixed reactions to Governor Awiti's failure to appear before Senate committee

Difference opinions

In Summary

• Residents differ over reasons for Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti’s failure to appear before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Investments (CPAIC). 

• Some say governor be given time to regain his health. 

Governor Cyprian Awiti
Governor Cyprian Awiti
Image: FILE

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti’s failure to appear before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Investments has elicited mixed reactions.

Residents differed over the reasons for the governor’s failure to honour the invitation by the Senate committee.

Walter Opiyo who heads Bunge La Wenye Nchi in the county and Synod Okello said the governor’s failure to appear before the committee was a drawback to the locals.

Opiyo said that most residents wanted to hear how the Homa Bay government has been utilising their funds.

He claimed it was an opportunity for Awiti to absolve the county of bad reports it has been receiving from the Auditor General's office.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t hear responses to the three financial years under audit for Homa Bay. Our county needs to be exonerated from the bad image of misuse of public resources,” Opiyo said.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Okello said the failure by the governor to appear before the Senate committee had alarmed many residents.

“We realised Awiti was sick only after he failed to appear before the committee. It’s important for residents to have information on how the county funds are used,” Okello said.

However, Oloo Gor, Eli Oyier and Silas Oriaso agreed with the Senate committee's decision to set a new date for the governor.

Gor urged the Senate committee to put in public previous findings on the use of funds by county chiefs.

“We’ll want the CPAIC to release resolutions they have made after governors appeared before it,” Gor said.

Oyier and Oriaso said governor Awiti should get well first before the committee invites him again.

“It’s important for the governor to be allowed to get good health first before he appears and answers the audit queries,” Oyier said.

Awiti was summoned by the committee to respond to audit queries for financial years 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-018.

The governor was also expected to address various issues emerging in health service delivery in the county.

The issues included the stalled Sh3.8 billion hospital project and the general state of the Homa Bay County Teaching & Referral Hospital.

But the Senate received Awiti’s letter signed by the County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe confirming that he could not appear due to illness.

Ogwe asked that Awiti be given another hearing in June. 

The CPAIC chairman and Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang said they had given the governor 3o days. 

“Governor Awiti has not honoured our invitation and instead written a letter signed by the Country Secretary indicating that he travelled outside the country for medical attention,” Kajwang said.

(Edited by O. Owino)