Wa Iria faces arrest for ignoring Senate summons

A Senate committee has written to Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai demanding the arrest of Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria for ignoring its summons.

The County Public Accounts and Investments Committee invoked its powers under the Constitution and the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act to direct Mr Mutyambai to arrest the governor and present him before the committee.

“The committee requests that you proceed to cause the arrest and production of Mr Wa Iria before the committee on Thursday September 10, 2020,” the committee says in the letter dated September 2 and signed by Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye.

The governor has failed to honour invites to appear before the House team since August 11 to respond to audit queries.

Last week, the Senate committee fined Wa Iria Sh500,000 for disregarding three summons on audit queries.

In a statement to newsrooms on Friday, the team said it took the move as it believes the governor is frustrating its work.

It said he has remained a no-show yet it has written to him, inviting him to sittings between June and September.

“The committee therefore resolves, that pursuant to section 19 (1) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, the Governor of Murang’a be fined Sh500,000 for failing to appear after being summoned by the committee,” stated the letter by the committee led by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri.

It further noted that it published the summonses in the local dailies.

Mr Ongeri said the governor, in an August 25 letter to the committee, explained that he could not travel due to a high rate of Covid-19 infections in Murang’a.

The committee, however, termed the reason a gimmick by Mr Wa Iria’s administration.

“The governor and the Executive had sufficient notice and time to prepare for the hearings. The committee finds that the notice given by the Health CEC was an attempt to frustrate its work and an attempt by the governor to look for reasons not to account for public finances,” it stated.

The Auditor-General’s report on the county’s financial records questions expenses amounting to Sh24 billion for the 2014/15 and 2017/18 financial years.

The committee said it will ensure the probe is concluded for the sake of Murang’a residents.

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