16 November 2018

Kenya: Senate Orders Mutua to End Assembly Wrangles

A Senate committee has ordered Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua to put his foot down and end the never-ending wrangles between his administration and members of the county assembly, warning that the standoff is not healthy for service delivery.

The County Public Accounts and Investments Committee wants the governor to sit down with ward representatives to find an amicable solution to the prevailing problem.

The committee, chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang, issued the directive just hours after the MCAs approved a move to oust Dr Mutua's deputy, Mr Francis Maliti, from the Finance docket.

In the report, the MCAs have also recommended that Mr Maliti be investigated for possible commission of economic crimes for allegedly authorising funds to be spent beyond the county's budget.

The deputy governor was also faulted for allegedly failing to ensure the county's development funds in the 2017/18 fiscal year were fully absorbed.

Some 33 MCAs drawn mainly from Wiper party voted to impeach Mr Maliti while 26 others walked out of the chambers in protest.

Dr Mutua, who was accompanied by his embattled deputy to the committee's session, dismissed the claims raised by the MCAs against his deputy, saying the impeachment attempt was motivated by blackmail and vested political interests.

While appearing before the committee to respond to queries raised by Auditor-General Edward Ouko for the 2014/2015 financial year, Dr Mutua voiced the frustrations he has been put through by the local legislators.

"We have been trying to make things work with some of the MCAs but in vain.

"Some of them claim they do not recognise me as their governor. It must be because of the ongoing election petition case at the Supreme Court," he told the senators.

On Thursday, Senator Kajwang said if the two warring parties do not end their differences, they will be invited to appear before a joint House committee to find a solution to the stalemate.


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