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Alai puts pressure on Sakaja over pending bills team

Kileleshwa Member of County Assembly (MCA) Robert Alai has put Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja on the spot over a 12-member committee set up to review and verify outstanding legal bills.

In a letter to the Speaker of the County Assembly, Mr Kennedy Ngondi, the MCA says the Chairperson of the Sectoral Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr Jared Akama, should provide an explanation on the activities of the team.

In January 2023, the governor formed the Committee on Review, Scrutiny and Verification of Pending Legal Bills and mandated it to scrutinise pending legal bills amounting to Sh21 billion.

The team was supposed to work for four months but its term was extended by three months last month to complete its work.

Mr Alai claimed the team had completed its investigation and submitted a report to the executive, which has taken a step towards planning the payment of pending bills for genuine legal fees.

The chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee is being asked to inquire about the terms of reference of the task force, its full report submitted to the governor, and the criteria used to identify genuine beneficiaries for payment of legal bills in the legal department.

In addition, the member wants the vote that was used to make payments of pending bills under the Legal Department and the payment gazette the team, he said it would have access to reports of all previous investigations relevant to its mandate, as well as research on the cases that led to the Sh21 billion pending bills.

“Within four months, the committee will submit to the Governor a final report detailing recommendations towards the streamlining of the procurement of legal services within the County Government and ensuring that future escalation of pending legal bills is avoided,” part of the gazette notice reads when the team was formed.

The governor named advocate Kamotho Waiganjo as the chairperson of the taskforce and Sylvia Mueni Kassanga as vice-chairperson, and Beatrice Auma Otieno and Francis Njoroge as the joint secretaries.

The members includes Eric Theuri, Aldrin Ojiambo, Dulma Farah Mohamed, David Kabeberi, Dickson Mutuku Mwenze, Elias Mutuma, Emily Chelule, Victor Swanya, and Wangechi Wahome Ng’ayu.

According to the Auditor General Nairobi County has the biggest share of the total pending bills across the 47 counties with Sh100 billion pending bills.

Wajir comes second with Sh5.59 billion, Kiambu Sh4.98 billion, Mombasa Sh4.97 billion, Machakos Sh2.88 billion, and Muranga County with Sh2.75billion.

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