Former Tharaka-Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa has denied paying Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki a monthly allowance to “remain silent on corruption” during his tenure as the county boss.
Responding to the claims by Governor Muthomi Njuki, Mr Ragwa said he never bribed Prof Kindiki and challenged the incumbent to produce any evidence he may have to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
“I have never paid Prof Kindiki even a single coin during my tenure and I even can’t remember sitting down with him to discuss about how to spend county funds,” said Mr Ragwa.
He said during his term, Prof Kindiki was very vibrant in oversight and made sure he appeared several times before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee to respond to audit queries.
Mr Ragwa added that both the senator and Mr Njuki, who was then the Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP, also used propaganda to make sure that he was not re-elected.
The former governor asked Mr Njuki to be ready to account for Sh471 million that the Auditor General has raised questions about and the spending of Sh19.6 million to buy himself an armoured official car – a Land Cruiser VX, contrary to the Public Finance Management Regulations.
On Saturday Governor Njuki sent a press statement to media houses claiming that Prof Kindiki had resulted to falsely accusing him of corruption after he refused to give him a share of county funds, allegations that the senator dismissed.
“During the last regime, the senator never uttered a word about misappropriation of funds because he used to receive monthly allowances from the county executive and the assembly for protection. I have told him he will receive no such money from me and I have evidence showing his effort to solicit money from me,” wrote Mr Njuki.
The governor added that senator had been trying very hard to tarnish his name using parables and accusing him of grabbing national government projects because of their personal differences.
On his part, Prof Kindiki said that even the residents of Tharaka-Nithi County recall very well that he scrutinised every spending by the former county government and demanded answers where there were some audit queries.
He also challenged the governor to present to the DCI the evidence that he purports to have showing that he demanded a share of the county funds.
“I am eagerly waiting for the governor to make official his corruption claims and I will immediately file a defamation case. This is all false,” said Prof Kindiki.
He added that he had nothing personal against the governor and that he is only playing his oversight role by asking him to answer audit queries raised by the Auditor General.