Economy

Sh194m Covid funds misuse cited in Wajir governor ouster

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Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Misuse of Sh194 million meant to combat Covid-19 formed the basis of impeachment of Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi Mahamud.
  • The Senate Special committee, which upheld his impeachment by the Members of County Assembly (MCA), recommended Mr Mahamud’s removal from office for endangering the health of the people of Wajir.

Misuse of Sh194 million meant to combat Covid-19 formed the basis of impeachment of Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi Mahamud.

The Senate Special committee, which upheld his impeachment by the Members of County Assembly (MCA), recommended Mr Mahamud’s removal from office for endangering the health of the people of Wajir.

The committee found that despite the Sh194 million allocation to fight the disease, the county government cannot conduct tests due to faulty kits and lack of reagents.

The county got an additional Sh194 million in the 2019/20 financial year.

The MCAs, through witness Hussein Dahir Abdirahman argued the health sector is in deplorable condition despite being allocated a total of Sh2.4 billion since 2018, equivalent to 22 percent of the budget.

The committee chaired by Nyamira Senator Senior Counsel Okong’o Omogeni found Mr Mahamud guilty of gross violation of the Constitution, County Governments Act, Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act and the Public Finance Management Act.

“The committee finds that the allegation was proved and was therefore substantiated. The committee further found that the allegation meets the threshold for impeachment of the Governor under Article 181 of the constitution,” Mr Omogeni said in the report.

Mr Omogeni said the committee returned a verdict after hearing the charges on the status of health facilities.

“We heard that an ambulance owned by the county broke down but instead of the governor repairing it, citizens were called upon to repair, fuel and buy tyres.

The Senators, however, dismissed claims of abuse of office and gross misconduct against Mr Mahamud saying the allegations were not substantiated.

They also dismissed claims that the county’s First lady was running the affairs of Wajir, saying there was no link and no evidence was tendered to support the claims.