WAJIR—A nominated senator from Wajir County is fearing for her life after she was threatened by area governor and allegedly assaulted by goons working on behest of his wife after she publicly called them out for corruption and mismanagement of county resources.
Senator Farhia Haji said she was targeted for her comment on the rampant corruption cases in Wajir County.
“The First Lady (Kheira Omar) verbally threatened me and she promised to unleash goons on me if I talk about corruption in Wajir County,” Senator Farhia said on her Facebook Page where she shared an audio clip of her speech that led to the alleged assault.
She added that she has since reported the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Wajir for further action.
“I can confirm that the goons were hired by Wajir County’s FIRST LADY who was unhappy about my bold statement about corruption in the counties. I reported the assault to DCI Wajir,” she added.
A statement by the Governor’s spouse denied the allegations.
During her speech at the Wajir Stadium to mark 56 years since Kenya gained independence, senator Farhia warned county accounting officers against approving contracts and payment resulting from questionable processes, adding that everyone would carry their own cross when anti-graft detectives come calling.
“Everyone will be responsible for their actions. Beware of what you append signatures on because when you release county funds through dubious means, it will starve the residents and harm their livelihoods,” Farhia warned, attracting angry response from Governor Mohamed Abdi who appeared disturbed by the remarks.
“We know that you’re not speaking for the public interest…you’re speaking on behalf of people we know of,” the governor said, without specifying their identities.
He continued: “Let us be careful. If you are saying that you’re not elected leader, be aware that you were nominated by the Jubilee party and the people of Wajir are watching you.”
The governor then warned her, saying: “Be careful. We don’t want people who criticize leaders.”
Senator Farhia took issue with the coded words used by the County Governor who threatened her for acting on behalf of unnamed agent.
According to the Auditor General report on pending bills as at the end of June 2018 Wajir County, out of sh 2.6B pending bills as per Controller of Budget list, the administration presented sh 2.3B for the special audit, leaving out a whooping amount of sh 262M unaudited.
Sh 317M of the amount subjected to the audit turned out to be ineligible pending bills for lack of supporting documents such as LPOs, SLOs, Contracts/Invoices and Delivery Notes.
“WCG managed to pay 320M out of the sh 2.039 Billion eligible pending bills,” the report seen by Kulan Post said in part. As at February 2019, there was an eligible pending bill of sh 1,719,448,837.
Wajir County is among the 35 counties blacklisted by the Treasurey in a decision communicated through a letter dated December 5th by CS Ukur Yatani to the affected counties who risks stalled service delivery at a time a number of employees are yet to get their November salaries.
The county’s failure to pay contractors and suppliers has been blamed for the economy’s dismal performance as the government holds billions in bills exposing contractors to auction due to un-serviced loans.
“I support the efforts by the (Wajir) County assembly on the probe to pending bills,” Senator Farhia said.
“Even if you stop the disbursement of the funds to the counties, you’re just hurting the locals. And the assembly cannot do much,” Governor Abdi responded.
Wajir County Assembly has constituted a nine-member ad-hoc committee last month to investigate the pending bills of the County government. The committee is chaired by Habaswein MCA, Hussein Dahir who supported the senator on her stand and laughed off the governor’s threats.
“Superp sen Farhia. We shall work for the people of Wajir. Our oversight role is enshrined in the constitution so as the senators (sic), the MCA said.