Residents of Kitui County woke up to a rude shock on Monday after a fire razed out a building housing some of the County Govt offices. The fire which started at around 2 AM razed down the Kitui County Finance, Records and Economic Planning Offices.
The incident happens a few days after Governor Charity Ngilu on Monday moved to court to compel County Assembly Speaker George Mutua to allow her access funds for the devolved unit.
A statement to media houses said that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have secured the scene after the county fire brigade moved in and contained the fire. However, the full extent of the damage is yet to be established.
“Her Excellency Governor, who is out of the country on official duties, has been briefed on the incident. She will issue a further statement on this unfortunate incident later today. We urge our staff and all citizens of Kitui to remain calm and not speculate as the investigating agencies get to the bottom of this”, said Deputy Governor Dr Wathe Nzau.
The county has been in wrangles on allegations that the County Speaker intentionally made it difficult for the Ngilu’s administration to access funds from the National Treasury to pay county staff.
Ngilu went to court after the Office of the Controller of Budget (OCOB) wrote to Kitui County Executive Committee Member for Finance saying funds allocated to the county can only be released after OCOB is furnished with a letter from the County Assembly Speaker.
Ngilu had sought the reallocation of more funds for payment of salaries after a Sh498 million shortfall occasioned by payment of tax arrears accrued from financial years dating back to 2013.