Senate grills Governor Mvurya over Sh1.6bn 'fake' pending bills

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya and Kwale's Finance CEC Bakari Sebe when they appeared before Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee(CPAIC) on Audit queries at the Kwale Assembly Chambers. [Kelvin Karani/Standard]
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya was yesterday put to task by the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee over Sh1.6 billion in pending bills queried in the Auditor General’s report.

Governor Mvurya (pictured) was questioned for more than three hours where he defended his administration against the bills contained in the 2017-2018 financial year.

The committee, chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang, also questioned the governor on the hiring of lawyers from Kilifi County at Sh18 million, and the low collection of on-source revenues despite the existence of potential revenue streams.

The committee noted that the county had indicated it had Sh1.5 billion in pending bills only for the figure to balloon to Sh1.6 billion when a special audit was conducted.

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The governor put up a strong defence, saying that the county has no pending bills and that nobody had come forward to make any claim. He rejected the special audit report, saying that it did not reflect the true position at the county.

“I want to reaffirm that there are no pending bills, not even for the last financial year. There is nobody who has come forward to demand payment,” he said.

County Assembly Leader of Majority Raia Mkungu, however, maintained that a number of suppliers have complained about delayed payments.

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Mvurya also defended the county on the Sh1.2 billion surplus registered in the 2017-2018 financial year, saying that it was caused by late disbursement of funds from the Exchequer.

On the hiring of lawyers from Kilifi County, Mvurya explained that the county advertised for legal services but no one from Kwale met the requirements, prompting his administration to take up a list of pre-qualified lawyers from the neighbouring county.

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Kwale Governor Salim MvuryaHoma Bay Senator Moses KajwangSenate Public Accounts and Investment Committee