Nairobi — Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie has petitioned Parliament seeking legislation to secure retirement benefits of future holders of the Office of the Auditor-General.
This comes months after former Auditor-General Edward Ouko revealed that the government withdrew his security and benefits which were due to him when he left office in August 2019.
During his tenure as Auditor General, Ouko upset the Executive for exposing looting and wastage of public funds, with President Uhuru Kenyatta at one time publicly telling him off during an anti-corruption conference at State House over the Eurobond saga.
The Office of the Auditor-General is mandated to audit accounts of National and County governments, courts, Commissions and independent offices, Parliament, Political Parties and accounts of entities as required by law, and submit reports to Parliament.
In his petition which was transmitted to the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, the MP who is popularly known as KJ said the Committee should enquire into the matter with a view of recommending a retirement benefit package befitting the stature and risk of the Office holder.
“The holders of the Office must be given constitutional safeguards beyond the fixed term of service of 8 years so that they are insulated from exigencies that may compromise their independence and integrity during their term in office, guarantee the personal and financial security of outgoing Auditors General, protect them from potential retaliatory actions and safeguard the dignity of the Office,” the Dagoretti South legislator said.
“The Office can only serve as a tool in the checks and balances of public accountability and promote such accountability when it discharges the mandate independently and in a manner that inspires trust,” Kiarie noted.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and CIOC Chairman, Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa MP) noted that findings on the petition will have an impact on other independent officeholders who came into existence following the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
“This Office has always petitioned my office, but I have always told them that it is misdirected because I do not initiate any legislation,” the House Speaker said.