Auditor General Edward Ouko has absolved Nyeri Governor from culpability after he told the Special Sitting of the Senate that Governor Nderitu Gachagua cannot be blamed for decisions taken jointly by the CECs of Nyeri County Government.
Ouko who was being cross examined by Gachagua’s lawyer Peter Wanyama said the CEC Finance should take individual responsibility for any financial decision made that led to lack of value for money in a case where the county government spent shs. 29.8 million to renovate a privately owned old office block in Nyeri town and whose monthly rent is 10.8 million shillings, thus resulting to a loss of shs. 81million.
But this did not go down well with Senators Bonni Khalwale (Kakamega) and his Nyamira counterpart Kennedy Mong’are who accused the Auditor-General of apportioning blame on the CECs yet it is the governor who should take responsibility.
Khalwale went ahead to warn the Auditor General that he has an office to protect.
But Ouko in his response to the criticism told the Senators that the Governor never contravened any law in the matter.
He further said he is not the governor’s hangman and challenged parliament to make a determination.
Ouko had told the House that the financial problems in the counties began during the transition period from to county governments where instructions and guidance came from various institutions including the Transitional Authority.
Earlier, the lawyer representing the embattled Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua has poked holes into charges against his client and urged the Senate to dismiss the proposed impeachment against the Governor.
Wanyama who was responding to the charges read out against the governor told the House that no proper proceedings to impeach the governor were carried out by the Nyeri County Assembly since he was denied entry to the assembly to represent the governor contrary to the constitution.
Wanyama who spoke on the second day of the Special Sitting on the proposed removal of the Governor of Nyeri, faulted the County Assembly for failing to reject the CEC appointees after the governor exercised his constitutional mandate to nominate them.
He defended the appointment of the Acting County Secretary Alice Wachira, saying she was qualified and properly vetted by the County Assembly contrary to the allegations by the MCAs.
On cross examination by the defense lawyer, a witness Dr Charles Githua Githenji who is the Ag CEC Finance and Planning told the House that the budget stalemate was caused by the decision of the County Assembly to mutilate the budget, a move that is likely to bring services to a standstill including failure to pay electricity.
He was however taken to task by the County Assembly lawyer Charles Njenga on the issue, who accused the witness of lying to the Senate.