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Economy

PAC warns Mailu against hiring auditor for Sh5.3bn scandal

Health CS Dr Cleopa Mailu (left) with PS Nicholas Muraguri during a Press conference at Afya House on October 30, 2016. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
Health CS Dr Cleopa Mailu (left) with PS Nicholas Muraguri during a Press conference at Afya House on October 30, 2016. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Parliament has warned Health secretary Cleopa Mailu that he may be forced to pay from his pocket if he hires a private auditor to verify questionable ministry spending amounting to Sh5.3 billion.

Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Nicholas Gumbo said Dr Mailu’s suggestion to hire an external auditor to probe the scandal did not make sense.

Dr Mailu had accused an internal auditor of leaking an incomplete audit report to the media, and said he would hire an independent external auditor to verify the corruption claims.

This came as it emerged that Health principal secretary Nicholas Muraguri had attempted to remove the ministry’s internal auditor “for constantly producing qualified audit reports on the ministry’s spending”.

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Mr Gumbo claimed it was illegal for the ministry to employ an external auditor, adding that only the Auditor-General is mandated to audit government accounts.

“If he does that, he will have a lot of explanations to make to the PAC with a guaranteed risk that he will be personally surcharged,” Mr Gumbo said.

The Rarieda MP, said not only will the minister be surcharged, but “he shall have invited upon himself the process of being removed from office.”

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