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Senate committee wants Oparanya arrested for snubbing summons

By Daniel Psirmoi | Published Fri, May 26th 2017 at 00:00, Updated May 25th 2017 at 21:10 GMT +3
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale in a pensive mood during the Senate Public Accounts Committee meeting to discuss Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi [Moses Omusula, Standard]

A Senate watchdog committee now wants the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to produce Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya before it.

The Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee Thursday issued a warrant of arrest for the county boss for snubbing summonses to appear before it to answer audit queries.

Mr Oparanya has snubbed all summonses to appear before the Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o-led committee to answer audit queries raised by the Auditor General on spending by his administration in the 2014/2015 financial year.

The county chief, in 2015, moved to the High Court and successfully sought temporary orders shielding him from being arrested for failing to appear before the same committee to respond to queries raised by the Auditor General during his first year in office.

Consultative meeting

Prof Nyong’o, who spoke yesterday after a consultative meeting with officials of the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC), said the committee would also write to the State agencies not to clear the governor for re-election.

Speaking to The Standard separately, Oparanya laughed off the decision by the committee, noting that his refusal to appear was because the matter was still before court.

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“Only convicted criminals are barred from running for political office. It is good for the public to know that the matter facing me is political. The matter is still in court. The people of Kakamega know what I have done for them in terms of development,” he said by telephone.

During the session, committee members led by vice chairman John Lonyangapuo, who is also the West Pokot senator, said Oparanya should be barred from defending his seat as he had refused to be held accountable by the Senate.

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi said the agencies should declare the governor unfit to hold public office as he has broken the law, by refusing to account for public funds.

“The institutions must not allow the governor to be on the ballot paper in the August polls. His continued snubbing and defiance of summonses to appear before our committee disqualifies him. It will be wrong to let him be re-elected and yet he doesn’t want to account for funds,” said Wamatangi.

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