URP to discipline governors over audit queries
The United Republican Party (URP) plans to take disciplinary action against governors from its party who are reluctant to account for public funds, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said on Wednesday.
Mr Duale said accountability of public funds is not negotiable amongst URP members and challenged governors seeking refuge in courts to seek alternative parties for re-election.
“There are many parties that believe in corruption. Those who don’t want to be held responsible for the taxpayers’ funds can move to such parties,” said Mr Duale at a press briefing at Parliament buildings.
He said the party expects governors to respect public institutions like the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Auditor-General and the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee that deal with accountability.
“The party will send home any governor who wants to mismanage public resources and run away from public accountability,” Mr Duale said.
END UP IN PRISON
He singled out the chairman of the Council of Governors and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, saying he must appear before Senator Boni Khalwale-led committee and respond to audit queries raised by the auditor-general.
“You cannot hide when you have Sh184 million on your head. As a party, we want Mr Ruto to take a walk to the Senate and clear his name. If he cannot convince the committee, he will end up in Kamiti (maximum prison),” Mr Duale said.
Mr Duale said the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will put the Bomet governor to task to explain whether he has adhered to the party’s position on transparency and accountability.
He said the party had no problem with politicians’ stand on calls for a referendum and said those mixing politics with matters of accountability are out to divert attention from the real issues.
“The referendum is in the Constitution. It is a right of everybody,” he said, adding that his recent public spat with the governor in Narok County was not meant to disrespect family values.
He faulted the courts, saying they were an impediment to Parliament’s oversight role and challenged Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to explain to Kenyans if the judiciary had taken over the executive and legislative functions.
A fortnight ago, Mr Duale and Governor Ruto engaged in a public confrontation over audit queries on funds allocated to counties.
The clash erupted after Mr Duale told the governor that he had failed to account for Sh184 million meant for development in Bomet County.
The MP accused Mr Ruto, alongside his Kiambu and Kisumu counterparts William Kabogo and Jack Ranguma, respectively, of snubbing summons by the Senate to answer accountability questions.
Mr Duale, who was angered by Mr Ruto’s speech earlier, said: “These funds belong to Kenyans and not to your mother,” prompting Mr Ruto to rise from his seat and walk towards the podium.