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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Why LSK President Faith Odhiambo Rejected Ruto’s Appointment

Why LSK President Faith Odhiambo Rejected Ruto's Appointment
Why LSK President Faith Odhiambo Rejected Ruto’s Appointment

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president Faith Odhiambo has turned down her appointment as a member of the President Taskforce charged with auditing the public debt.

The attorney’s umbrella termed the move by President William Ruto to constitute the team as unconstitutional.

They cited a court ruling in which the Auditor General was specified to undertake an audit of the Trans Nzoia county government.

“We take note of the recent High Court decision underscoring the Auditor-General’s role in public audit matters in Ondago v Natembeya and 15 others [2023] KEHC 22268 (19 September 2023) (Judgment) where the High Court while nullifying a Taskforce created to audit County Government debts, asserted that the Governor could request the Auditor- General to conduct a forensic audit,” LSK said.

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“It is our considered view that the establishment of the task force is unconstitutional. The mandate to audit public debt rests with the office of the Auditor-General,” it added.

LSK’s council hence resolved not to have its president nor any of its members take up appointments or participate in the said taskforce.

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It went ahead to counsel the president to refrain from what it said was usurping the constitutional powers of the Auditor-General through Executive Orders and allow the Auditor-General to perform her constitutional duties.

The debt, currently at upward of KSh 10 trillion, was majorly procured during former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure.

Ruto tasked the team with auditing the debt and filing its report within three months.

It would run its activities from the National Treasury building.

To lead the team as its chair would be Nancy Onyango, assisted by Luis Franceschi.

Members of the team included; Philip Kaikai, LSK President Faith Odhiambo, Institute of Engineers of Kenya President Shammah Kiteme, and Vincent Kimosop.

Abraham Rugo and Aaron Thegeya would serve as the joint secretaries of the task force.

The team would review the current stock of public and publicly guaranteed debt, reconciling loan proceeds with their intended purpose and reconciling loan repayments with the associated terms of the facility based on the context and terms of the loans.

The Task Force would also assess whether the country has received value for money in terms of loan terms, cost of the projects financed, return on investment, and equity, including intergenerational equity.

In addition, the task force would assess the adequacy of safeguards in the public finance management (PFM) framework for debt management and recommend changes in the control environment to strengthen the governance of the country’s public debt management system.

“In the light of the current debt burden, the imperative for fiscal consolidation and the constrained fiscal space, recommend alternative sources of financing the country’s development needs in the short and medium term and any debt reorganization plan; and to consider, perform, or advise on any other matter or subject ancillary to the above,” the gazette notice read in part.

Read the Original Article on https://www.the-star.co.ke/

 

Why LSK President Faith Odhiambo Rejected Ruto’s Appointment

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