The Council of Governors (CoG) has put the Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC) on the spot over alleged extortion of county bosses in the name of summons related to audit queries.
In a statement on Thursday, September 3, CoG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya called on investigative agencies, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), to probe the matter with the aim of taking necessary action against Senators who have turned the summons into a cash cow.
According to Oparanya, the committee has continued to summon county chiefs to appear physically despite an agreement to convene all the meetings virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Oparanya said that some of the audit queries date back to 2015. He wondered where the senators have been all along.
“We hereby categorically state that Governors will not bow down to extortionist nature of this County Public Accounts and Investments Senate Committee and will only appear virtually until COVID-19 pandemic is over and funds have been disbursed to County Governments,” said Oparanya.
“We call upon the EACC and DCI to investigate the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee of the Senate on this matter of extortion.”
This comes days after the committee chairman Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri asked the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to arrest Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria for snubbing summons and present him before the members.
The Murang’a governor snubbed committee summons thrice, with the latest incident being on August 28, 2020. He had been summoned to explain queries raised by the Auditor General on the financial operations for three financial years-2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.
In his statement today, Oparanya demanded release of funds to county governments saying different departments are hurting due to the ongoing revenue standoff.
The governors threatened to shut down county operations by September 17 if the revenue sharing formula stalemate persists.