The dispute between Governor Mike Sonko and a group of Nairobi ward representatives escalated yesterday with his family being dragged into the wrangles.
This came when Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi directed the select committees on Public Accounts and Finance and Budget to investigate reports that Sh2.4 million belonging to the county government was used to facilitate a foreign trip of the governor’s wife Primrose Mbuvi and daughter Saumu Agnes Mbuvi.
The revelations came as Kitusuru Ward Representative requested a statement from the two committees regarding the expenditure relating to the 62nd Commission on Status of Women conference in New York, the US from March 12 to 23, 2018.
Mr Palapala said the county Executive sponsored Saumu to the summit “yet she is neither a public official nor employee of the devolved government”.
“The Constitution provides that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way. This expenditure included payment of flight tickets, accommodation and per diem to a tune of Sh800,000,” Mr Palapala said.
In the documents presented at the assembly, boarding passes showed that the two used Emirates Airlines First Class tickets from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on March 10, 2018 to Dubai Airport, United Arab Emirates, before connecting to John F Kennedy Airport, New York.
Ms Saumu would later return aboard an aircraft belonging to the same airline on March 17.
In a March 7, 2018 letter addressed to Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua cleared the two, saying there was no objection for them being included as part of the Kenyan delegation to the conference.
“The resultant expenditure will be met by their respective institutions. Inform them accordingly,” Mr Kinyua said in his letter.
He was responding to Prof Kobia’s March 6, 2018 letter on the matter.
In November, 2017, the Council of Governors wrote to governors from counties that had shown interest in taking part in the summit to inform it.
After Mr Kinyua’s letter, a Joyce Kinyanjui who was identified as the director IGR and head of CEC secretariat, then wrote to the council secretary on March 9, 2018, seeking authority to pay visa fees, tickets to and from the US, full per diem for 15 days and ground transport.
One Janet Muthoni Gichuki and Saumu were to accompany Primrose to New York.
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