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Finance officer Waqo wasn't roughed up, say witnesses.

Witnesses have told the County Assembly's Committee on Powers and Privileges that some MCAs did rough up the finance officer.

The committee chaired by Naftali Mathenge on Tuesday concluded its sixth sitting after having cross examining 11 witnesses.

Education executive Lucia Mulwa, chief officer for Finance Halkano Waqo, two members each from the Education and Legal committees and five workers from the county assembly were among the witnesses.

In a letter addressed to Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, acting county secretary Leboo Morintat and Finance executive Charles Kerich on June 26, Waqo said his life was threatened by MCAs.

'I am constrained to face any committee of the assembly due to open threats over my life. Until I get your assurance, please excuse me from appearing before any committee,' the letter reads.

From June 26, Waqo has not attended any committee sittings. As a result, acting speaker Chege Mwaura ordered the Powers and Privileges Committee to investigate the matter and come up with a report.

Waqo told the committee when he appeared before it that he was manhandled by Kariobangi North MCA Julius Maina Njoka and his Dandora IV counterpart Francis Ngesa.

He said they demanded that he addresses them on whether bursaries will be given to needy students or not. Waqo said he felt that the Education Committee chairperson Millicent Mugadi did not protect him.

But Mugadi said there was no fracas or harassment of Waqo during the meeting, and if it took place, it was probably after she had adjourned the sitting.

"I did not witness any harassment of the chief officer in the meeting. What didn't go well was that some questions were not fully answered by Waqo," she said.

Highrise MCA Kennedy Oyudi told the committee that things went wrong when the executive officers turned down MCAs' request for them to hold a press briefing to explain why there is delay in bursary issuance.

"The chief officer was not pushed nor roughed up. If I was personally given a chance, I would have also done the same because we the elected leaders were being fought in the wards because of the delay of bursaries," he said.

Education Executive Lucia Mulwa said she never went to hide under a table as reported earlier .

"The meeting ended well after a heated discussion and was adjourned by the chairperson," she said.

She, however, stated that she never witnessed any fracas.

Chief Sergeant-at-arms Gideon Ndunda said there are plans to install CCTV in all committee rooms.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 18, 2019
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