DID NOT GO TO RABAT

Nyong'o under fire for snubbing Senate summons over Morocco trip

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa claims governor under protection of senior politicians

In Summary

• Kisumu county communications director John Oywa said the governor was due to travel but the Moroccan embassy advised otherwise citing the Covid19 spike in Rabat.

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa has accused Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o of telling the Senate that he had traveled to Morocco yet he hadn't.

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa has accused Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o of telling the Senate that he had travelled to Morocco yet he hadn't. 

The governor was scheduled to appear before the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee of the Senate to respond to queries by the Auditor General but sent regrets.

Outa said Nyong'o did not travel and was spotted with two senior Nyanza leaders at his Nairobi home.

“I have found out that the Morocco that he was committed to travel to and hence couldn’t attend, was at his home with two of our leaders,” the senator said.

The lawmaker alleged the meeting between the governor and the two leaders involved queries arising from a separate expenditure of Sh13 billion World Bank cash.

Outa said the governor has developed a pattern of snubbing Senate summons hence "denying Kisumu people a chance to know how he has used the county’s billions."

"If you look through, the auditor has given an adverse opinion, meaning there are many billions that are unaccounted for. For Nyong’o to dismiss the claims by mere allegations he was travelling yet was trying to put out another fire is unacceptable," the Senator said.

He added, "I want to tell these leaders that they must not appear to protect people who are perceived to have mismanaged taxpayers’ money. The meeting took place at the governor’s residence, yet he told us that he was travelling."

Outa said he has put together a team of accountants and legal professionals to draft a suit against the county boss on the utilisation of public resources.

“This audit report has highlighted grey areas which the governor and his team must appear and explain how the funds were used,” he said.

In his letter to Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, Nyong’o said he’d be joining Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa in leading the Kenyan delegation to Rabat to the United Cities and Local Governments offices in Africa.

“The mission that will start on July 26 to July 29 is to enhance preparations towards the ninth edition of the Africities Summit to be held in Kisumu in April 2022,” the July 19 letter reads.

“I, therefore, request the committee to either allow my county executive committee member for finance and economic planning to represent me at the session or give us a new date to appear,” the governor said.

When contacted, Kisumu county communications director John Oywa said the governor was due to travel but the Moroccan embassy advised otherwise, citing the Covid-19 spike in Rabat.

“All was set for the trip but the county chief was briefed by the embassy that they could not travel owing to the Covid-19 situation in the country. We had processed travel ticket already and can furnish any interested party with the copies of the same,” the director said.

He added, "The clerk had written to the governor stating that the Senate CPAIC had confirmed they'd give the governor a new date," Oywa said, adding that the senator was only playing politics with the matter.

Outa said it was not the first time Nyong’o had failed to appear before the committee chaired by Migori Senator Ochilo Ayako.

The Senate issued summonses – with a warning of a Sh500,000 fine – to the county chief for appearance to answer how the county used some Sh240 million for Covid-19 emergency response.

“This is an act of denying the people of Kisumu a chance to have their lives improved through the county government,” Outa said.

The senator said since the audit report is on the county spending as of June 2019, nothing stops the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission from taking up the matter.

Among the queries is the payment of Sh89 million to a contractor for the design of Moi Stadium. The auditor said the cost of reconstructing the stadium was inflated to Sh1.3 billion from the initial Sh130 million.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu had flagged the irregular procurement of consultancy services for preparation of valuation roll, irregular purchase of desktop computers and insurance for motor vehicles.

The county was also found in breach of public finance laws in the leasing of medical equipment without an intergovernmental agreement with the national government.