[Photo File:(ABOVE)Governor Jackson Mandago and Trade Minister Philip Melly in Scottsdale USA| (BELOW) Mandago and his delegation in Phoenix Arizona]
Governor Jackson Mandago was last week in the far West in the latest in a series of whirlwind foreign trips to the US raising questions about what the County leader seeks to achieve with this gruelling “investor seeking” missions.
It is about time we audit his frequent trips outside the country.Since late last year, he has escalated his globe-trotting and frequented United States at least three times.In his series of overseas trips, Mandago is sometimes taking with him dozens of hangers-on.
The costs of the trips — borne by taxpayers — are difficult to measure,but they are expensive amid indications by the Auditor general that governors gobbled up 1 billion on foreign trips.
Benefits of Mandago’s foreign trips are hard to gauge. While we consistently lament that high budget overruns on foreign travel, we should question why millions are being blown on the same raising the county government’s total recurrent expenditure.
Though all county leaders are all collectively blowing millions on travel alone, it is Mandago’s frequent foreign trips that are draining the already depleted county coffers. The governor should have mercy for his county.
At a time when we are crying for good roads, at a time we are facing shortage in school fees, at a time we are begging for more funding from the central goverment why do we still misuse the little we have? Are these overseas trips really benefiting the county?
All these travel are non-value adding if they do not translate into the county’s prosperity.The international visits will chew millions while we claim bench-marking without knowledge and skills transfer.
Section 30 of the County Government Act that sets out the powers and functions of the governors mandates the governor to provide leadership to the governance of the county,and his administration. More precisely,Section 30(3) states that the governor shall be accountable for the use and management of the county’s resources.
We should therefore hold Governor Mandago to account on these trips and demand to know of what value have they been to the county.
While majority are now voicing regular concerns about the county being the headquarters of nepotism,misuse of public funds and creation of overnight millionares we should audit the trips to ensure they are not disguised to line some few pockets at the expense of development.