Counties

Court bars Senate summons to governors over loan audits

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The Senate building in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • Justice Anthony Mrima barred the Senate committee on roads and transport from issuing warrants for the arrest of governors who refuse to honour the summonses over audit reports.
  • The Council of Governors moved to court seeking to block the Senate from considering Auditor-General’s reports on the two funds for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 financial years.
  • The clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye had argued that barring it from oversighting the reports, will cripple its mandate.

Senators have been barred from summoning governors over reports of the Auditor-General on grants, loans and revenue generated by the counties.

Justice Anthony Mrima also barred the Senate committee on roads and transport from issuing warrants for the arrest of governors who refuse to honour the summonses over audit reports on Roads Maintenance Levy Fund and World Bank funded Kenya Urban Support Programme.

The judge said the orders will remain in force pending the determination of an appeal at the Supreme Court, filed by the Senate after it was barred from oversighting grants, loans and locally generated revenue.

“The upshot is, therefore, that the respondent’s Committee on Roads and Transport and by extension the Senate, does not have any powers and mandate of oversight over any other funds to the counties except such funds which form part of the national revenue allocated to the counties,” the judge said.

The Council of Governors moved to court seeking to block the Senate from considering Auditor-General’s reports on the two funds for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 financial years.

The governors argued that once a report of the Auditor- General has been submitted to the county assembly, the Senate cannot concurrently handle the same matter.

The court heard that other than oversighting national revenue to the counties, the Senate has illegally been exercising oversight on grants, loans and locally generated revenue, rending the county assemblies irrelevant.

The clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye had argued that barring it from oversighting the reports, will cripple its mandate.

He said the Senate Committee on Roads and Transportation was not considering the reports of the Auditor-General but was solely considering matters concerning and relating to transport, roads and public works, construction and maintenance of roads, rails and buildings among others.

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