Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has been under growing pressure to explain how millions of shillings of County funds have been spent.
Appearing in front of the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee meeting in Kakamega Governor Wangamati was unable to explain what had happened to Sh59 million paid on legal services allegedly irregularly sourced.
The Committee also heard that Sh116 million of county government money had seemingly been used to fuel private vehicles, the owners of whom could not be identified.
Another Sh12 million was spent on air travel but there is no record that 15 county officials concerned had actually flown anywhere.
Why no county government revenue returns?
Committee chairman Migori Senator Ochillio Ayacko, questioned Wangamati as to why county government revenue returns had not been submitted to the Auditor General on time and why when they were ultimately delivered the returns had not been supported by the required documentation.
Governor Wangamati responded that the delay in providing the documents was down to the absence of the approved templates used in preparing the revenue returns statement until over a month ago and that as a result he had not had sufficient time to prepare the revenue returns.
Governor Wangamati accepted that there were ‘challenges’ but said he would take action against anyone involved in irregularities and would institute measures to close loopholes that allowed revenue to be lost.
The use of private vehicles
As to the question regarding the use of private vehicles, Governor Wangamati said the problem had been inherited from the previous administration and that he himself had had to use his own private car until recently when the county government had bought him one.
Regarding accountability in the provision of fuel, Governor Wangamati stated that a new fuel card system was to be introduced.
The County committee gave Governor Wangamati two weeks to come up with the details of vehicles fueled from county funds to the Auditor General.