CLASH OVER AUDIT QUERIES

Mutua hits at Senate committee over summons

Governor says he was surprised Senate PAIC convened sitting without alerting him

In Summary

•Committee threatens to order for withholding of funds for Machakos county

•Kajwang says if IGP fails to produce Mutua the committee will declare the two unfit to hold public office

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua
DEFIANT: Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua
Image: FILE

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has launched a scathing attack on the Senate accusing a watchdog committee of having an agenda to paint him in bad light.

The governor said he was surprised the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee had convened a sitting without alerting him.

The county chief protested that the Moses Kajwang' team did not invite him to yesterday's session yet went ahead to issue a summons to him.

"I have several times informed the Senate PAIC that I have always been ready and willing to appear before them and do not need to be compelled to perform my civic duties as a law-abiding citizen," Mutua said.

The PAIC threatened to order the withholding of funds for Machakos county government following Mutua’s failure to appear before it to respond to audit queries.

The committee yesterday extended the arrest warrant against the governor who failed to show up for the third time in as many weeks.

The committee directed Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to arrest and produce the governor before it for questioning.

 

Kajwang' said that should the IG fail to produce Mutua after a two-week extension period, the committee will declare the two unfit to hold public office.

The governor is being sought to respond to 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 audit queries raised by the Auditor General.

 

"This committee knows that if we go that route [block county funds] it is the residents of Machakos that will suffer more and not the governor. That is why, we will resolve to find him unfit to hold public office as well," Kajwang said.

He added, “The IG was required to comply with the arrest order issued by this committee but he has not effected the order. Impunity breeds when small fractions are not checked. Parliament cannot be seen to work in vain.”

The committee had last week ordered the IG to arrest and produce Mutua before it for questioning yesterday.

Last week, Mutua cited his travel abroad and a toxic environment in the committee for failing to show up. He claimed Machakos Senator Bonface Kabaka was planning to use the session to execute his personal and political interests.

The panel invoked the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act section 19 (3) which states that Parliament or its committee may order the arrest of a person who fails to honour a summons.

 

“If the IG will be unable to produce Governor Mutua, then we shall as a committee seek the House to make a resolution to direct the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute criminal charges against the two.”

Mutua had failed to honour the committee’s invite to respond to queries raised by the auditor in respect of failure to settle pending bills amounting to Sh954.1 million in the 2017-2018 financial year .

“Parliament cannot act in vain. If the House by a resolution resolves that the governor is not fit to hold public office, it will be enough indictment. Accountability of governors is not a favour but a responsibility,”Kajwang' said.