Tourism CS Najib Balala summoned over Sh230m spending

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 29 Aug, 2019 08:00 | < 1 min read
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Members of the National Assembly have summoned Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala over expenditures and imprests amounting to Sh232 million that had not been budgeted for.

Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) asked Balala to appear before the team next week to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor General in the 2016/17 financial report.

The move comes after the committee was forced to adjourn its sittings due to the absence of a substantive Principal Secretary  in charge of the department.

Standing Order

Top officials, who had appeared before the committee led by the Director of Wildlife Conservation Stephen Manegene, were kicked out after the committee insisted the Standing Orders only allowed them to listen to accounting officers.

The move came after the previous holder of the position, Dr Susan Koech, was forced to step aside after being implicated in the Kimwarer and Arror Dam scandals along side two other senior state officers.

Speaking before the committee, Manegene said they  had been informed that the current Tourism PS Joe Okudo had been recommended to take over as the  substantive PS.

This, he told the  MPs, had been communicated to them vide  a letter from the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua—a directive whose timeline is uncertain.

Hands tied

Following the move PAC chair Opiyo Wandayi said Parliament would write to Balala to appear before the committee  while waiting for the appointment of the PS.

 Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo called for the adjournment. saying: “Our hands are tied. The law says only the accounting officer can  respond to Parliament.”