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Governor Guyo, Ledama exchange words in face-off at Senate

 Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo before the Senate County Public Investment and Special Funds Committee on June 18, 2024. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A Senate Committee sitting in Nairobi was on Tuesday disrupted when Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo and Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina engaged in a war of words.

The situation almost got out of hand with the Senate County Public Investment and Special Funds Committee Chairman Godfrey Osotsi unsuccessfully trying to calm Guyo and Ledama who openly criticized each other.

Guyo was enraged when some Senators claimed that he was presiding over an incompetent administration of which he termed the utterances as unfair since he had come to answer audit queries during the tenure of his predecessor former Governor Mohammed Kuti.

“Before becoming Isiolo Governor I was a Member of the County Assembly in Nairobi for 15 years where I served as the County Assembly Majority Leader and also Minority Leader at some point, I could not have been given those positions if I was incompetent,” said Guyo.

The Governor’s stance irked the Narok Senator who told off Guyo who while banging the table asked him not to deviate from the matters raised and instead address all concerning the performance of Isiolo County and that nobody cared how many times he had been elected.

Ledama said that the Senators had taken time to go through the documents presented which were shoddy wondering how the county could fail to come up with proper documents 12 years since the advent of devolution which raises a red flag over the conduct of business in the county.

The Narok Senator wondered how the Governor could allow documents that were not signed by any county official to be presented before the Senate terming it the highest level of negligence witnessed by the committee and that action needs to be taken against the relevant officers.

“Senators take their time to go through these documents since we take our oversight work seriously, being elected as an MCA for 15 years does not give you a right to look down upon this committee, you cannot be allowed to disrespect the Senate,” said Ledama.

Guyo in response said that he was not elected by the people of Isiolo as their Governor so that he could come to the Senate to be intimidated and that he was being treated unfairly yet he had come to respond to issues that took place during the tenure of his predecessor.

The Isiolo Governor asked the Senators what they expected him to do yet some of the documents that they were being asked to produce were not available and that he could only be put to task if he was being asked about matters to do with when he was in office as Governor.

.Osotsi was forced to adjourn the meeting after his attempts to rule Guyo and Ledama out of order with the two leaders going for each other as other Senators, Senate Staff and Journalists watched the bitter verbal exchange between the two.

The Isiolo Governor was appearing before the committee to explain how the county spent money on various funds which included county bursary funds, emergency funds and youth, women and people with disability funds for the financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.

Osotsi directed the Auditor General to conduct a special audit on various funds operated by the county government with the Governor only responding to queries on the county bursary funds, explaining there were neither legislations nor structures to operate the other funds.

“The Senate County Public Investment and Special Funds Committee directs the Auditor General to conduct a special audit on the various funds administered by Isiolo County Government since what has been presented today is not satisfactory,” said Osotsi.

Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo said that it was being alleged that she was against her county getting funds yet she has been on record championing for the increase of allocation made to counties, especially during the joint Senate and National Assembly Mediation Committee.

Migori Senator Eddy Oketch said that the County should be disbanded since the responses to the audit queries were mediocre and an embarrassment to the people of Isiolo.

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