Wangamati gets Senate invite to answer abuse of office allegations

Friday, July 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati appearing before a committee in a past Senate probe. Photo/PD/FILE

A senate committee has invited Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati to appear before it to respond to allegations of corruption, abuse of office and violation of the law.

The development follows a move by Moses Wanjala Lukoye, a resident of Bungoma County who has sought the Senate’s intervention through a petition to have Bungoma County financial statements examined by the Auditor General Edward Ouko.

Lukoye wants the Senate to direct the auditor to conduct a special audit exercise to determine its county financial soundness.

Criminal offences

“Direct the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), Director of Criminal of Investigation (DCI), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and Controller of Budget (COB) to investigate whether any criminal offenses arising from the facts set out in this petition and take appropriate action thereon,” Lukoye’s petition reads in part.

The matter which was committed to the Devolution and Inter-governmental committee has invited Governor Wangamati to respond to the allegations, which are backed by area Senator Moses Wetangula.

“We have invited the governor to appear before us next week on Thursday to shed light on the claims and offer possible solutions to the issues raised,” Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’, who chairs the committee said on Wednesday.

“We will hear the petitioner on Wednesday to take us through the issues raised in the petition, summarily because he had shared the same in the previous committee,” Kajwang’ added

Lukoye claims when Wycliffe Wangamati took over office in 2017 he increased the wage bill to Shs 2.72 billion which is 54 per cent of the total county revenue.

In addition, the petitioner claimed the governor had embezzled public funds through exaggerated budgets of public participation meetings that are just done to justify some already spent monies.

He accused the governor of flouting procurement procedures citing initiation and implementation of mega projects citing Kanduyi-Musikoma dual carriageway, Webuye Industrial Park and Masinde Muliro Stadium.

Further, Lukoye accused the governor of grossly violated section 107 (c) of the public Finance Management Act, 2012 as read with regulation 25 (b) of the County Government regulations, 2015 which requires that wages and allowances of public officers shall not 35 percent of the total county revenue.

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