After ignoring NCSN’s calls and ditching over a hundred letters into the dustbin, Nandi County governor Cleophas Lagat has found himself summoned before the Senate committee to answer questions of missappropriation of funds, corruption, unbalanced distribution of county’s richest resources, violation of Procurement Act in awarding contracts and many other gross violations that risks the collapse of ‘Home of Champions’.
STANDING BEFORE THE SENATE
Cleophas Lagat was grilled on Wednesday morning by senators, over the alleged mismanagement of county funds, despite his spirited attempts to have Nandi Senator Stephen Sang out of the committee.
Governor Lagat,who had been summoned to appear before the Senate standing committee on Legal affairs and Human rights, over a petition to the Senate by residents on claims of misappropriation of funds and skewed allocations of resources, raised an objection over the presence of Senator Sang in the proceedings.
He argued that the Senator was an interested party in the matter and therefore should not be present during the committee proceedings.
But it appeared the odds were against Governor Lagat, as his objection was overruled, with the committee informing the Governor that the Senator was a member and vice chair of the committee and that the matters before it were in the interest of the public.
“As a Senator, Sang has a mandate to oversight on the use of funds in counties. The petition before this commitee is in the interest of the public and therefore the Senator has every right to be here,”the committee which is chaired by Busia Senator Amos Wako and has Senators; Fatuma Dullow(Nominated), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) as members pointed out.
The Governor had appeared before the Committee last week, but was given a week to furnish the committee with all the necessary documents in response to the petition by the Nandi County Civil Society Network (NCCSN).
Among the issues the Governor was questioned on, include the alleged irregular award of tenders for the construction of roads across the county,in which procedures stipulated in the Public Procurement and Disposal Act were not adhered to.
The committee wants to know why the procurement process was also not carried out competitively in accordance with Section 29(1) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005.
They have also demanded an explanation why the county rushed to spend money during the end of the 2013-14 Financial Year. The committee had last week taken the Governor to task telling him even if it was towards the end of the financial year, there was no need to rush because the unused money could still have been rolled into the following year.
The Governor was also cornered for misleading the committee that his administration had set up the county budget and economic forum as provided for in the Public Finance Management Act 2012. He however apologized and admitted that the county is yet to set up the forum.
The Governor who was accompanied by county government officials among them CEC Finance Charles Muge, County Secretary Francis Ominde and Legal officers George Tarus and Anne Munyua, tabled documents which the committee said will now be scrutinized in regards to the petition.
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