CoG alleges bias in arrest of governors in graft claims

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Wycliffe Oparanya, LREB chair and Kakamega governor. Photo/File

Governors have protested what they term as a deliberate move to target county chiefs over alleged corruption cases.

Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday said investigating agencies are holding governors for long before taking them to courts, which he said amounts to harassment.

 “We condemn the manner in which governors’ arrests and prosecution have been handled like in the case of Muthomi Njuki of Tharaka Nithi, who despite surrendering himself to EACC, has not been presented in time in court to take plea as is required under Article 49 of the Constitution,” said Oparanya, after a meeting with about 20 county bosses in Nairobi.

“This is not the case for MPs who once arrested, are promptly presented in court and bail issued.

MPs are also not barred from accessing Constituency Development Funds offices and Parliament as is the case with governors which is discriminatory… this is not the case for MPs who are also elected leaders,” he added.

Counties shut down 

Oparanya said unverified information linking governors to corruption has been published and whereas the gubernatorial chiefs support the fight against corruption, they threatened to take individual responsibility to challenge such allegations.

He made the remarks as he insisted that devolution is under attack, saying the stifling approach by national government is intended to diminish finances of counties to undermine devolution.

The Kakamega Governor said county bosses have indulged Senate and National Treasury on available options of unlocking funds to counties for Financial Year 2020/21, and despite their efforts to provide solutions to the existing stalemate, their proposals have been disregarded.

He reiterated that failure to disburse funds would see counties shut down on September 17 and no services will be provided.

“To effectively provide services, counties will require a total release of allocated funds for both development and recurrent expenditure.

It is not logical to disburse funds meant to pay salaries together with operations and maintenance and fail to undertake development,” he said. 

He regretted that salaries of county employees, including frontline workers have not been paid for the last three months hence threatening response measures towards the coronavirus pandemic.

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