By Erick Ludeya
The oversight of billions of shillings being spent by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services( NMS) and the county government will stall for sometime following fresh wrangles that have seen the ODM party withdraw its members from the County Assembly Public Accounts Committee.
The surprise move was sparked by ongoing plans by a section of MCAs to have current PAC chairman Wilfred Odalo replaced.
This has further triggered friction among the assembly’s leadership after minority whip Peter Imwatok blamed the speaker Benson Mutura of collusion with a section of MCAs to remove Mr Odalo.
The letter dated 4th May blames the speaker for intimidating and coercing members into signing the purported removal of Mr Odalo.
“It has come to may attention and that of the Minority House Leadership ,that yourself and other Hon.Members of the Public Accounts Committee have been intimidating and coercing other members into signing the purported removal of the current chairperson Hon.Wilfred Odalo,to which it is the preserve of the Minority Party leadership to nominate the member qualified to be a chairperson of the Select Committee,” wrote Mr Imwatok.
He further writes: “In line with this,I regrettably invoke the standing order number 168(1) and discharge the following members from serving as the members of the PAC committee,”
The MCAs who have been discharged from the committee include Wilfred Odalo, Moses Ogeto, Clarence Munga, Mourice Ochieng, Ann Caterine, Rose Ogonda, Lawrence Otieno, Peter Imwatok, Jared Okode, Jane Muasya, Osman Khalif, Rosemary Masitsa.
Mr Imwatok who also spoke to the media in his office blamed the Jubilee side for planning to destabilise the watchdog committee by way of leadership changes without following the due process.
” As per the law,if any ODM member wants the PAC charperson removed then they must consult with the party leaders in the assembly,”
He said that the new wranglers are being perpetuated by individuals out to protect corrupt officers in the executive.
Mr Imwatok himself is battling a scheme to remove him as the minority whip but he is blaming city cartels whom he says want him out because of his hard stance on recent corruption related reports at City Hall.
However,some ODM legislators have indicated that they have no confidence in his leadership.
The MCAs are blaming him for using the party’s name to advance his selfish interests in corrupt deals.This comes at the backdrop of reports that the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commision is investigating circumstances under which the county paid over Sh 400 million to suspect law firms.
Opposition MCAs have also lamented misuse of over Sh1.3 billion Covid-19 relief funds given to the NMS.
Some MCAs have alos voiced concerns that the county is now operating on an autopilot mode with little regard being given to the needs of residents.
With the PAC crumbling, residents will have a more valid reason to get scared of the state of oversight in the county.