House watchdog team summons 14 governors for snubbing invites

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. [David Njaaga, Standard]
At least 14 governors risk being arrested if they defy summons by a Senate committee investigating audit queries touching on their counties.

The 14 governors were summoned by the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee after they failed to heed invites to respond to questions raised by Auditor General Edward Ouko on their county's expenditure during the 2014/2015 financial year.

Those summoned are governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Patrick Khaemba (Trans-Nzoia), Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) and Martin Wambora (Embu).

Others are first-term governors  Mike Sonko (Nairobi), John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Abdi Mahamud (Wajir), Mohamud Ali (Marsabit) and Ali Korane (Garissa). 

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Yesterday, the committee's vice chairman, Senator Mithika Linturi (Meru) advised the county bosses to co-operate to avoid facing further sanctions.

“They (Governors) have no other option but to co-operate with us. It is sad that we had to issue summons as a last resort but that was the only thing we could do. The governors must  accept to be held accountable,” said Mr Linturi.

Article 125 of the constitution states that Parliament and any of its committees has the same powers as the High Court to enforce the attendance of witnesses, including issuing warrants of arrest.

Two weeks ago, the committee's chairman, Senator Moses Kajwang'(Homa Bay) lamented that the non-appearance of governors was slowing it down.

Since the committee started holding its sittings after last year's poll, only six out of the  20 invited governors turned up.

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These are governors Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) and Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo).

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SenateSenate committee14 governorsCounty Public Accounts and Investment CommitteeAuditor General Edward Ouko