Senators warned governors against sending the County Executive Committee Members (CECs) when summoned to answer on the expenditure of Covid-19 funds.
On Monday the Senate Health Committee held Murang’a governor Mwangi Wa Iria to account after he failed to turn up for his summons but sent the County CEC.
Kisumu Senator Fred Outa and his Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata proposed that governors who fail to appear before the committee to be issued with a summons.
“If we take this direction that we have seen from Governors, then we are starting on a wrong foot and it will be in order to provoke our standing orders to summon Murang’a governor,” Outa said.
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina urged governors to respect the oversight role entrusted to the Senate and be accountable for the Covid-19 funds given to the counties.
“We are doing oversight and if you are invited to shed light on misappropriation of funds in your county and you fail to appear, remember these are matters that can follow you even in your retirement,” Kina said.
At least 27 counties will be investigated for alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 funds. Auditor General Nancy Gathungu said counties flouted procurement procedures and paid for fictitious tenders.
Embu, Homa Bay, and Murang’a counties are accused of issuing quotations to non-pre-qualified bidders. The AG accused Busia, Kakamega, Marsabit, and Meru counties of allegedly procuring medical supplies without conducting a market survey.
Bomet and Meru are said to have irregularly split procurement tenders contrary to section 54 (1) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
Baringo, Lamu, Mandera, Migori, Nyandarua, and Trans Nzoia counties are said to have ignored competitive bidding in their procurement process by employing direct procurement.
According to the Auditor, Kajiado, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, and Tharaka Nithi allegedly procured goods without valid contracts.
The audit report states that Bungoma and Kitui allegedly misappropriated the Kenya Devolution Support Project funds.
The AG called on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe the alleged misuse of public funds and take appropriate action against county officials found culpable.