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Former governor defends himself against graft

Former Tharaka-Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa has accused the Auditor-General of wrecking his family by alleging that he cannot account for close to three million shillings spent on a trip to Denmark with his wife during his tenure in office.

The claims emerged after an audit of the 2016/2017 expenditure, which showed that  Ragwa’s wife used Sh.1.7 million during the trip but there were no documents to show she attended the conference.

The report further states that Ragwa’s wife was supposed to stay there for four days but was paid per diem for 10 days.

However the former governor who was speaking at Kathwana town told reporters that he took his wife to Denmark in May 2016 for a conference that the wives of all the 47 governors and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta attended.

He further explained that his trip to Denmark in September 2016 was with the then Chuka County Referral Hospital medical superintendent, Dr. Elijah Kameti.

“The journey was organized by the Council of Governors and we travelled to benchmark on healthcare capacity development and it was from this trip that the county benefited by way of a fully equipped eye unit,” said Ragwa adding that the unit was established at Chuka hospital through an Israeli non-governmental organisation, Eye from Zion.

Ragwa further dismissed the audit that has widely been discussed in local radio stations with innuendos he took a concubine to Demark and he clarified that he never travelled to Denmark with any other woman other than his wife.

The former county chief also denied the audit findings that indicated the records provided there was no evidence that he travelled to Denmark.

He said he was ready to supply all the documentation for verification and that copies were submitted to the county secretary’s office.

“I am surprised to read in the report that there are no travel documents yet I am very sure that they are at the county secretary’s office at Kathwana,” he said, adding that the documents may have been destroyed or tampered with in an attempt to ‘fix’ him.

Ragwa warned that there will be no justice for ex-governors if the Auditor-General continues relying on information from incumbents’ offices.

The incumbents, he claims, “act on instructions from their bosses”.

Ragwa further said most county chiefs consider those they defeated a political threat in the 2022 general election so they will do anything to destroy them politically.

“I know I cannot win any case with Njuki as my advocate and that is why the auditor should involve us, not our rivals,” he said referring to the incumbent Governor Muthomi Njuki.

By David Mutwiri

 

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