Senate county watchdog committee has asked Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to arrest Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria and present him before it over failure to honour summons.
The County Public Accounts and Investments Committee chaired by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri also fined the governor Ksh500,000 for disobeying its summons.
The county boss failed to appear before the committee for the third time to respond to audit queries.
“In view that the governor came under summons last year, and this year he has failed to honour summons, I order that this committee summons under police escort Governor Mwangi wa Iria to be produced by the IG physically to this committee room on September 10, 2020,” Senator Ongeri said on Friday.
In issuing the directive, Ongeri invoked the Powers and Privileges Act that grants the House committee the power to order arrest of any witnesses who snubs invites and summons.
“Where a summoned witness does not appear, or appears but fails to satisfy the relevant House pf Parliament or committee, the relevant House of Parliament or committee may order the arrest of a person who fails to honour a summons,” the Act reads.
The act also gives the committee the power to impose fines, ranging from Ksh200, 000 to Ksh3 million.
The governor had also snubbed an invite to respond to the audit queries for financial years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
In a letter tabled before the committee, explaining why he could not honour the summon issued against him on August 11, the governor said he could not appear before the committee as the county offices have been closed following reported cases of Covid-19.
The committee heard that Murang’a County Health CEC advised the closure of the county offices for between 14 and 20 days to allow for fumigation.
“It will, therefore, not be possible to assemble because the documents necessary for the committee to interrogate and resolve the audit queries and other issues are not available. Most of the senior staff who were to appear before the committee are in the vulnerable category and there it will not be possible for them to appear,” the governor explained in a letter read by Ongeri.
The chairman couldn’t, however, take the excuse and insisted that the Iria was deliberately avoiding accountability.
“Muranga has had total Exchequer release from 2014 to 2018 amounting to more than Sh24 billion. The people of Murang’a have a right to accountability the county chief executive who they elected,” Ongeri said.