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Sifuna and Kajwang’ to face off for Senate committee seat

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna (left), and his Homabay counterpart Moses Kajwang’.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna and his Homabay counterpart Moses Kajwang’ will face off during today’s senate committee leadership selections.

The two are both angling for the chairmanship of the all powerful County Public Accounts Committee (CPAC). The committee is the one in charge of monitoring how County allocations are being utilised by County governors.

Moses Kajwang’ has been touted to be enjoying massive support from other senators – and since this is arrived at by voting process, the three-term senator may just clinch the post. Sifuna, on his part, has not had any qualms settling for any position, after he missed out on Deputy House minority whip position to Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina. “I am not interested in being the PAC chair. If any Senator wants to be the chair, I will support his bid. I am content being the Nairobi Senator and a member of any committee. Even if they want to place me under the catering committee,” said Sifuna.

CPAC is tasked with monitoring at how County governments have been using their allocated billions. In the just folded Senate’s third term, Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria, and Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, refused an order from the senate committee to appear before the Senate committee. This means that they did not accept to be audited by the senate committee – which acts as Countys’ watchdog.

In other powerful senate committee, Vihiga’s Godfrey Osotsi is said to be salivating for the another influential committee of County Public Investment (PIC), and Special Funds Committee. The octogenarian Oburu Oginga (Azimio leader, Raila Odinga’s elder brother) will land another lucrative seat in Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).

When on the floor of the house to approve the two names (Sifuna and Kajwang’), Nandi senator Samson Cherargei reiterated the need to put governors on check, noting that the developments on the ground do not reflect the many billions that are sent to County governments’ coffers yearly.
“What have we done with devolution for 10 years? In some places, the citizens will tell you that the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) has done more than the county allocation funds.”

“It looks like there has been competition on how to steal from the public, especially in our devolved unit. It looks like when the Council of Governors (CoG) meets, they ask each other: “How much have you stolen?” They do not ask: “How much have you done for your people?” posed Cherargei.

The Senate committee will have an uphill task to make sure that County governments do their spending prudently to the interests of their electorates, and not to enrich themselves.

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