Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has hit back at the council of governors for alleging that governors are being targeted on the war on corruption.
CoG chairman Josphat Nanok on Monday said they should be given the same treatment as the President because they too are heads of governments.
“The best practice in jurisdictions that are devolved is that the heads of both levels of government have immunity on civil and criminal proceedings while they are in office,” Nanok said during a press conference at the CoG headquarters in Nairobi.
The President cannot be prosecuted while in office.
Nanok was reacting to the recent arrest and charging of Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.
Linturi told journalists at Parliament building on Tuesday that DCI and the EACC have collected information that gathers ground to arrest the governor.
He said instead of Ojaamong parading governors in his solidarity, he should prepare and consolidate his defence to counter what the investigative agencies have.
Nanok said it was “mischievous” to call the media and publicly arrest a governor to distract the public from the rot in other ministries, departments and agencies.
“Whereas the fight against corruption is inevitable, this fight cannot be politicised and it cannot be used selectively to target specific officers,” he told reporters.
The CoG said it is aware security agencies will target more governors in the coming weeks. The governors said if the arrests continue, they will disrupt activities at the counties.
“But Linturi said, “When you steal you steal for yourselves and not the community. We have empowered institutions and we must let them do their work. Bringing governors to your defence is not a solution but you must consolidate your evidence to counter that which will be presented,” he said.
“We are in the second phase of devolution and it is evident that the first phase from the report of the controller of budget and auditor general indicate a lot of misappropriation of public funds a clear indication they failed to honour their financial obligations,” he added.
Linturi said the constitution provides for the impeachment of governors and president on grounds of misappropriation of public funds.
“All we are saying the governors as the bosses of devolved units must operate within acceptable decorum. Countries like USA, Canada, South Africa governors run states and they have no immunity to corruption,” he said.