Sang, Cherargei clash over Sh40 billion county funds

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and Senator Samson Cherargei are embroiled in a war of words over the expenditure of Sh40 billion allocated to the county by the exchequer for the last five years.

Cherargei said that between 2017/18 and 2021/22 financial year Nandi County received Sh40 billion inclusive of shareable revenue, conditional grants, additional funds and own source revenue which does not reflect in development across the county.

But Sang told off the senator accusing him of seeking to be facilitated to carry out a mandate that has constitutionally been assigned to the Office of Auditor General which has been adequately resourced to carry out its mandate by Parliament where Cherargei is a member.

"Indeed, the Office of the Auditor General has carried out the function that you want to carry out in Nandi county with its reports being public documents that are available in the Senate, its committees and individual senators you included," he said.

The governor said that in all his appearances before the Senate committees, Cherargei has been available as a member and area senator and he has always shown alleged lack of understanding for issues in the audit report to the surprise of his colleagues.

Sang claimed that on several occasions the senator has been dismissed by his colleagues as being juvenile and petty not only during his appearance but also when other counties appear before committees and having failed to prosecute the issues before the Senate, he did not understand how he will get it right on his own.

"I wish to invite you to take time off your busy schedule and moving from one television station to another, to come back home and confirm firsthand the progress made in the reference period, you can also engage locals even as you tour the projects as the people's representative and you can then speak from their perspective," he said.

Cherargei said that the performance of the governor in terms of development continues to be dismal noting that the Constitution provides for structures to hold him to account including that of the Senate.

He said that in the exercise of his constitutional role as the Senator of Nandi demands that in 14 days the status and number of payments done in Nandi County Creameries Project and Kapsabet County Referral Hospital Paediatric Wing.

"The Supreme Court of Kenya ruled that the Senate role does not only involve the oversight of the equitable shareable revenue but extends also to own source revenue collected by counties where Nandi county is one of them," said Cherargei.

He sought the status and amount of payment made to the expansion of Chepterwai Nyayo Hospital, upgrading of Kobujoi Health facility, expansion of Kapsengere Dispensary Hospital, expansion of Maraba Sub County Hospital and renovation works and expansion of Nandi Hills sub-county hospital.

The senator said that in light of section 148 of the Public Finance Management Act of 2012, he sought the provision of the revenue stream of the county, the service provider details of revenue collector on behalf of the county, the designated receiver of revenue, bank details and all accounts operated by the county government including Mpesa.

"I am also seeking to have the county strategic plan for revenue collection, the total amount of money in retention accounts for the county, the number of the contractors that have money retention accounts, state the projects that still have money in the retention accounts," said Cherargei.

He asked for the provision of bursary fund account, health services fund, county emergency fund, and county liquor and licensing fund, among other documents including the amount of imprest still owed to the county and the surcharged amount recovered from delayed returns.