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Tharaka Nithi differs with Transition Authority over use of Sh61.5m

EASTERN
By Peaceloise Mbae | December 12th 2014

THARAKA NITHI COUNTY: The county government has differed with the Transition Authority over alleged misappropriation of Sh61.5 million.

The disagreement emerged after a letter, written to the governor by the authority asking him to account for Sh61,592,200 given to his government for county structure development, leaked to the public.

The letter has brought shame on the county government who have in turn come out strongly to defend themselves.

Speaking to The Standard, Governor Samuel Ragwa said his government has not misappropriated the funds.

Mr Ragwa said the money in question was used to pay salaries following direction from Transition Authority officials.

The governor said the county government had not received money from Treasury and was under pressure to pay salaries, which led the assembly to allocate some of the money towards doing that.

“Counties started receiving money in September 2013. The Transition Authority has no moral authority to ask us to account for the money yet they were the ones who advised us to use it to pay salaries,” he said.

The governor said since the team was part of the transition process, as per the constitution, and they advised the county government to pay salaries with the money, they too should bear equal responsibility.

BREACHED CONTRACT

Ragwa said the Constitution empowers the authority to facilitate and co-ordinate transition to the devolved systems of government, adding that if the role was misused then the county government should not bear the blame.

“Only one letter was sent to the governor’s office. There were others addressed to the Transition Authority team meaning they were also responsible,” he said.

However, speaking to The Standard, Transition Authority Chairperson Kinuthia Mwangi said the county government has no excuse for not using the money as intended.

“If any county used the money for any other reason other than construction of offices, they have breached the agreement and have used the money illegally,” he said.

Mr Mwangi said the Transition Authority board has rejected any other explanation concerning use of the money and is set to present the issue to the Senate.

“The money for building offices was a conditional grant given to the authority by Treasury and anyone who used the money for other purposes went against the agreement terms,” he said.

He has asked the county government to identify the official who advised them to use the money to pay salaries so that action can be taken.

The board is set to table reports from all counties demanding accountability.

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