Governor Kang'ata’s ‘shambolic’ response to audit issues invites senators’ wrath

Murang'a Governor Irungu Kang'ata while appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts (CPA) Committee

Murang'a Governor Irungu Kang'ata while appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts (CPA) Committee on March 21, 2023, over queries in the Auditor General report for Muranga County County Executive. 

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Senators yesterday read the Riot Act to Governor Irungu Kang’ata over his administration’s failure to answer audit queries into the possible misappropriation of funds at the county government.

The governor was also reproached for his “shambolic” response to the audit concerns, forcing the Senate watchdog committee to adjourn in a huff.

Appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts Committee chaired by Mr Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay), Governor Kang’ata was criticised for taking the committee for a ride.

“Even if everything was in place, I don’t think we would have admitted the response as it is,” said Senator Kajwang’.

Mr Okiya Omtatah (Busia) urged his colleagues to impose a Sh500,000 fine on the county government, saying, this was not the first time the county was producing audit documents late thus denying auditors sufficient time to peruse them.

Mr Omtatah added that it was unacceptable that the committee was being forced to adjourn its sittings simply because the county government had failed to meet a deadline.

“We need to take stern action against this county government in order to serve as a lesson to other counties that will be invited to appear before us,” said Mr Omtatah.

Audit queries

The committee wondered why county officials failed to provide the documents on time, yet they already had them.

The committee was to consider audit queries relating to the financial year ended June 30, 2020, which was during the tenure of former Governor Mwangi wa Iria.

“We will not accept such shenanigans going forward since they slow down the committee’s work. Go and sort out the issues of documentation with the auditors,” said committee vice chairperson and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei.

Alleging an emerging trend at the Murang’a County Government, Senator Kajwang’ said eight financial reports have not been considered by the county assembly and Mr wa Iria had also refused to appear before the senators during his time as governor, leading to a warrant of arrest being issued against him.

“Murang’a County has not been audited by this committee since the former governor had defied summons to appear. This clearly shows that there was something that was being hidden,” said Senator Kajwang’.

“It is unfortunate that a person who has served as a councillor, senator and member of the National Assembly can still fail to meet what is expected of him now as a governor,” he added.

For his part, Governor Kang’ata admitted to appearing before the committee unprepared but asked to be given another date to put his house in order.

“We will comply with your directions as we believe in the work that is being done by this committee,” said Dr Kang’ata.


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