Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza Faces Scrutiny Over County Legal Issues

    Written By Lisa Murimi

    Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza came under scrutiny on Tuesday from the County Public Accounts Committee of the Senate regarding the legal status of the county.

    During the session, Governor Mwangaza revealed that Meru County is embroiled in 800 court cases on various matters. However, she failed to provide a comprehensive list of these cases, confirming details for only two, which have already cost the county over Ksh601 million in legal fees.

    Senator Fatuma Dullo expressed concern over the lack of transparency regarding the legal cases, emphasizing the potential financial implications for the county if ruled against.

    The committee also raised questions about an audit query from the Auditor General’s Office, highlighting Ksh38.9 million spent on legal fees in the 2021/22 financial year without adequate documentation.

    Additionally, the office of the Auditor General detailed that there were no documents to support an additional expenditure of Ksh9.4 million in legal fees from the previous financial year.

    Moreover, the committee criticized Governor Mwangaza for not appointing a County Attorney as required by the Constitution, noting that legal matters were being handled by a political appointee, the CEC for Public Service Management and Legal Affairs. Senators argued against this arrangement, stressing that legal responsibilities should not be entrusted to political appointees.

    “The roles of County Attorney cannot be executed by a CEC. A political appointee should never take over the responsibilities of legal affairs, ” Senator Moses Kajwang noted.