Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko yesterday distanced himself from demands by his county boss colleagues for immunity from prosecution.
He told the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee that all county chiefs should be held accountable for the funds they receive from the Exchequer.
“We are public officers. I beg to differ with my colleagues. We’ve been entrusted with billions of shillings belonging to wananchi and meant to develop our counties,” Sonko said.
The committee chaired by Homa Bay senator Moses Kajwang’ is tasked to audit the expenditure of all the counties and relies on reports from the Auditor General.
“We should be ready to be oversighted by the Senate and the county assemblies,” Sonko said.
Last week, the Council of Governors said county bosses should not be prosecuted while still in office. Governor Josphat Nanok (Turkana) issued the statement following the arrest and charging of Governor Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia) for abuse of office. Only a serving President enjoys immunity.
“The best practice in jurisdictions that are devolved is that the heads of both levels of government have immunity from civil and criminal proceedings while they are in office,” he said.
However, MPs led by Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr told governors to respect the Constitution and bear individual responsibility when linked to graft. Kilonzo told the CoG to table its demand in Parliament.