- The newly appointed Auditor General Nancy Gathungu is to conduct a probe on the billions spend. The funds were channeled to the national government and the county governments to curb the spread of COVID-19. Despite millions coming into the country, the issue of misappropriation of funds is a matter of concern.
As the government intensifies efforts to fight COVID-19, various agencies have donated funds to fight the spread. Continuous rise of COVID-19 cases has raised a lot of questions concerning the accountability in COVID-19 fund expenditure. Stepping into the matter the parliament and the National Treasury has ordered an immediate special probe on the utilization of COVID-19 funds.
The newly appointed Auditor General Nancy Gathungu is to conduct a probe on the billions spend. The funds were channeled to the national government and the county governments to curb the spread of COVID-19. Despite millions coming into the country, the issue of misappropriation of funds is a matter of concern. The senate committee wants to know how the COVID-19 billions are being spent in the country.
“The committee requires you to undertake the special audit on the utilization of the funds allocated to and appropriated in the 47 county governments in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nancy Gathungu wrote. The letter was issued by Sylvia Kasanga, the chairman of the Senate committee.
Since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the country, the government has received a lot of financial aid. The four international bodies including European Union (kshs.7.5 billion), International Monetary Funds (IMF) (kshs.78. 3 billion), the World Bank (kshs.108 billion) and African Development Fund (kshs.22.5billion).
Ukur Yatani, the cabinet secretary of the treasury, ordered all the ministries to submit to the treasury a report on the expenditure on all COVID-19 related funds. With the department of health not being left out, Ukur Yatani gave them up to Friday 14th, 2020, to forward their reports.
Treasury’s budget of 2019/2020 had set aside Kshs.40.3 billion to cushion the vulnerable and those who lost their jobs. Also, some funds were to be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
When the first COVID-19 case was reported in the country, lots of funds have been directed to KEMSA- Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, which has offered contracts taking billions of money to 12 firms. The other money was channeled to friends and well-known individuals. This was not in the 2019/2020 budget. In June, county governments were given 5 billion in readiness over the COVID-19 fight.
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The senate committee expects the new auditor to complete the assigned duty to determine whether the COVID-19 funds were used as expected. The Auditor general Nancy Gathungu has to establish and point out any squandering of the public funds in the county governments and at the national government.
She is also to look at the procurement plans and work plan done by the county governments. In the report, she is expected to set all the expenditure of all COVID-19 funds used every month and any bank transactions done every month since March.
Nancy Gathungu has to audit expenditures from 13th March 2020 to the end of 31st July 2020. The senate committee expecting the auditor general to file a report on 4th September 2020.