Hasten funds audit

What you need to know:

  • This scourge is a devastating health challenge whose impact continues to be felt across the country.
  • Some well-connected individuals have been taking advantage of the pandemic to make millions of shillings in suspect transactions.

The public is rightly outraged over the reported misuse of billions of shillings meant for the campaign against the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why the pledge by the Senate ad hoc committee on Covid-19 to audit the funds has been roundly welcomed. This scourge is a devastating health challenge whose impact continues to be felt across the country. It is, therefore, shocking that anyone would seek to profit from the pain and misery of fellow Kenyans.

Some well-connected individuals have been taking advantage of the pandemic to make millions of shillings in suspect transactions. The beneficiaries are literally dancing on the graves of their fellow Kenyans and their callous greed must be condemned in the harshest terms possible. This special audit follows the recommendations of a parliamentary committee.

It is suspected that hundreds of millions of shillings may have been diverted, misapplied or misappropriated. It is so heartless of these people, considering that in these difficult economic times, the government is hard-pressed to raise the funds to fight the pandemic.

The National Treasury has had to cancel allocations to other pressing needs to enable this to be done. Secondly, these reports could jeopardise the country's relations with donors, who have generously chipped to help save Kenyans’ lives, only for the funds to end up in the pockets of a few crooked people. The audit should zero in on suspected fraudulent procurement and purchases by the Health ministry and its agencies.

In May, there was a similar public uproar when it was revealed that a sizeable amount of the Covid-19 funds was going into buying tea and phone airtime and paying for other administrative expenses for ministry officials.

This inquiry should be speeded up and the culprits identified, apprehended and punished to restore confidence and ensure that any funds made available for the Covid-19 war are prudently managed and put to the intended purpose.