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LSK President Faith Odhiambo Rejects Ruto’s Appointment

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Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Faith Odhiambo has rejected her appointment as a member of the President Taskforce charged with auditing the public debt.

In a statement on Saturday, July 6 LSK said the task force was unconstitutional and therefore illegal because it invalidated the Auditor General’s role.

The society argued that the mandate to audit public debt rests with the office of the Auditor-General.

LSK noted their decision is also drawn from the recent High Court decision, in a case, that underscored the Auditor-General’s role in the public audit.

“We take note of the recent High Court decision underscoring the Auditor-General’s role in public audit matters in Ondago v Natembeya and 15 others [2023] KEHC 22268 (19 September 2023) (Judgment) where the High Court while nullifying a Taskforce created to audit County Government debts, asserted that the Governor could request the Auditor- General to conduct a forensic audit,” LSK said.

“It is our considered view that the establishment of the task force is unconstitutional. The mandate to audit public debt rests with the office of the Auditor-General.”

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Faith Odhiambo

LSK further chastised President Ruto asking him to refrain from seizing the role of the Auditor-General to undertake her constitutional mandate

The society pointed out that the office on public debt management, headed by a Director-General at the Treasury should provide details of public debt to the Auditor-General for a forensic audit.

President Ruto on Friday announced the appointment of a Presidential Taskforce on Forensic Audit of Public Debt.

In a gazette notice, Ruto named Nancy Onyango as the chairperson of the task force assisted by Luis Franceschi.

Members of the team included; Philip Kaikai, LSK President Faith Odhiambo, Institute of Engineers of Kenya President Shammah Kiteme, and Vincent Kimosop. Abraham Rugo and Aaron Thegeya would serve as the joint secretaries of the task force.

President Ruto tasked the team to review the current stock of public and publicly guaranteed debt, reconciling loan proceeds with their intended purpose and reconciling loan repayments with the associated terms of the facility based on the context and terms of the loans.

Also Read: President Ruto Congratulates New UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer

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