Senators in threat to stop funding errant governors

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 05:30 | By
Governor of Isiolo County, Abdi Goyu responds to questions from members of the Public Investments and Special Funds Committee of the Senate on audited accounts of water companies in the county. PHOTO/Kenna Claude
Governor of Isiolo County, Abdi Goyu responds to questions from members of the Public Investments and Special Funds Committee of the Senate on audited accounts of water companies in the county. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

Senators are set to move a motion to stop funds from going to Isiolo and other counties whose Governors have refused to appear before them for accountability purposes.

This even as the Senators directed the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome and Director of Public Prosecution Renson Ingonga to arrest and prosecute Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo for contempt and various violations of the law.

The Senate Health Committee reached the verdict after Guyo failed to appear before the committee on several occasions to answer to various questions on the status of Health and the morgue in the North Eastern Arid and Semi-Arid County.

Mandago stated that the actions of Isiolo Governor towards the committee, adding that they summoned the Governor to appear but failed to heed the summons.

“We are left with no other choice other than to ask the IG and the DPP to arrest and prosecute the Governor. Having given him the opportunity to respond to the issues that has taken more than six months, and refused to appear. He has exhibited the highest contempt to the Senate and this committee,” said Mandago.

Service delivery

He went on: “The matter before this committee is not a matter for Fatuma Dullo. It is a matter that affects the citizens of Isiolo on service delivery.”

The committee is relying on the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act Section 19 (3) states that ‘Parliament or its committee may order the arrest of a person who fails to honour a summons.

The same act in section 19 says that ‘where a witness summoned does not appear or appears but fails to satisfy the relevant House of Parliament or committee, the relevant House or Committee may impose upon the witness such fine, not exceeding Sh500,000, having regard to the witness’ condition in life and all the circumstances of the case.

The Uasin Gishu lawmaker further charged that they were also looking into the provision of the Leadership and Integrity Act on the conduct of State Officers acting in a manner to demean those offices.

“We are asking the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to look into the conduct of such state officers. We shall also be looking into the conduct of the Isiolo County Assembly Speaker on his public utterances as a Senate. The Legal Counsel should ensure that they supply all the necessary evidence to the DPP so that action can be taken immediately to save the people of Isiolo from further suffering,” said Mandago.

Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo who had sought a statement on the status of the Isiolo County Hospital, said that there is no oversight that is working in the County.

“I will recommend that the budget going to Isiolo should be stopped after all it is not helping the people of Isiolo. We are suffering. I will bring a statement on the floor of the House to stop budget until they respect Senate,” said Dullo.

Toothless forum

Garissa Senator Abdul Haji on the other hand held that the Senate committee should stop acting as if they are toothless but should instead invoke stringent penalties and deal with the Governor.

“It is high time we stop acting as toothless dogs who just bark and there is no bite. I want to guide the legal person, do not give us the most lenient route to take. Tell us the most extreme route that we can take to deal with this governor,” said Haji.

However, in a quick rejoinder, Governor Guyo said that he is willing to account for the people of Isiolo and the relevant agencies that are mandated to oversight my administration.

“I will not succumb to intimidation and blackmail of one senator. If my senator feels there is malpractice, she knows the right agencies to petition to investigate me. She should not lie about our county,” said Guyo.

The first-term Governor clarified that his administration had handed over the site of the morgue for construction and refurbishment and that the morgue would only be handed over to the County once the works had been completed.

“We have handed the site to the contractor. It is the contractor who has put the signpost and iron sheet. The site must be secured because he is working on it. Our senator has sought so many statements on the floor of the house. Nearly every standing committee has a statement sought by her,” charged Guyo.

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