Watchdog committee, Isiolo Governor in row over Sh500,000 fine

Senate County Public Accounts Committee  chair Moses Kajwang'. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Senate County Public Accounts Committee (CPAC) is now in a row with  Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo after the latter was fined Sh500, 000 for snubbing committee invitations for questioning. 

The committee has now  implored Police IG Japhet Koome to present him before the House team to answer to audit queries.

This, after the Governor failed to appear before the watchdog committee over the weekend which had set up camp in Isiolo to question him.

But Guyo, in a rejoinder, defended his giving the committee a wide berth by accusing the committee of being “used to fight local political wars.”

“As an elected representative of Isiolo, I am ready to be held accountable by the people who elected me. I will not appear before the committee which is now being used as a political tool by my political competitors,” Guyo stated.

He went on to claim that the committee was being used to do the bidding of Isiolo County Senator Fatuma Dullo with whom they have been embroiled in a protracted political war.

The first time Governor censured the committee chair for what he termed as “being under the thumb of the Senator” and ruled out the possibility of appearing before the committee in the near future.

 But while speaking in Isiolo moments after the Governor pulled a no-show, CPAC chair Moses Kajwang’ said the committee will again summon the Governor to appear before it, failure to which they will pursue a stoppage of funds to the county or recommend for its dissolution in accordance with the law.

He reprimanded the county chief for failing to appear before the committee at least five times by seeking postponements, actions- which he said- prompted the committee to travel to Isiolo.

Kajwang’ was also irked by the fact that on their visit to Isiolo, the Governor, his deputy, MCAs and even the clerks were all absent from the Assembly precincts. He wondered how the same was possible and read malice in their actions. The chair urged them to live to up to national values.

 “We register our reservation on the conduct of the assembly,” Kajwang’ added.

Guyo however rebutted stating that he had earlier informed the committee that he would not be available for the said meeting and he had requested for the rescheduling of the same.

“I was not the Governor of Isiolo for the period under which they are seeking to question me on…the Senate should not allow itself to be used as a tool by Senators with Gubernatorial ambitions. They should stick to real issues,” he observed.

The county boss added, “These are merely blackmail and intimidation tactics by the committee.  The senator for Isiolo should also acknowledge that I was elected by the people of Isiolo  and to them I am accountable.”  

Chairman Kajwang’ however refuted the claims of the committee being pawns in a political game and urged the governor to focus on service delivery and not political wars.

“This committee is only interested in accountability and not local or personality based politics. Our interests as watchdog committee can be substantiated,” he reiterated.

Governors have in the recent past been subjected to hefty fines by Senators who deem the county chiefs as undermining their authority.

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