Senators have threatened to have Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya barred from running for re-election in the August 8 General Election if he fails to appear before them to answer to audit queries.
They have also summoned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Inspector General of Police, the Controller of Budget, the Attorney General and the National Treasury to appear before them on May 24 to shed on the appropriate action they would take against Oparanya for ignoring their summons.
The Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investments Committee vice chairperson John Lonyangapuo said of the 47 governors, only Oparanya had failed to appear before the committee to explain how the county had spent billions of money allocated to it.
He was speaking after the committee dismissed a team led by Kakamega deputy governor Philip Kutima which had been sent by Oparanya to defend the audit queries raised against the county government.
Said Lonyangapuo: “The governor should not be allowed to stand for any political seat because accountability is not an option,” said Lonyangapuo.
Lonyangapuo said that Oparanya should be dragged out of office by the people of Kakamega as he has failed to be accountable for their money.
He added: “every person has a responsibility to account for any money under him. All governors have appeared before us except him. We want to know who he is in this country.”
Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi said that Oparanya must be made to appear before the committee as he has no option but to respond to queries raised by auditors.
He said: “Oparanya must be made to appear before this committee even if it means being forced and frog marched.”
Nominated senator Paul Njoroge accused the auditor general Edward Ouko of failing to arrest him despite senators issuing summons to have him arrested.
He however said that the committee will be issuing fresh summons to force him to appear before the committee as accountability is not an option.
He said: “it is a failure from the office of the auditor general for not arresting him because senators had already issued the summons to him.” Last year the committee directed the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to arrest him and produce him before the committee.
The move came after the committee dismissed a team led by Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima that had been sent by Oparanya to appear before it and defend the audit queries raised against the county executive, insisting that they had only summoned the county boss.
The House committee invoked the powers granted to it by the constitution under Article 125, granting it the powers of the High Court to order the arrest of the Governor, who has severally snubbed their invites and summons.
But in a quick rejoinder Oparanya moved to the high court where he was allowed to apply for an order prohibiting the DPP and IG from arresting and charging him for snubbing Senate summons.
Oparanya had sued the Senate, Inspector General of Police, DPP and the Attorney General, arguing that he faces imminent arrest and prosecution emanating from express directions of Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee chair, John Lonyangapuo.
In his prayers, Oparanya claims that the committee members, especially Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, want to instigate fresh prosecution despite a similar matter being stayed by the court.
Oparanya had been invited before the committee to respond to queries raised by the auditor in respect to Sh7.4 billion in financial year 2013/2014.