What you need to know:
- She called for an investigation, arrest and successful prosecution of thieves at the Health ministry and across the government.
- On BBI, Ms Karua said the initiative was not serving any purpose and was akin to “building bridges where there is no river.”
- She also accused President Kenyatta’s government of failing to provide leadership in the fight against the virus.
Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua has demanded full accountability for Covid-19 funds in Kenya, even as she called for resources meant for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to be diverted towards the fight against the virus.
Speaking to journalists Monday at her party's headquarters in Nairobi, Ms Karua said the government owed it to the people of Kenya to show, in great detail, where the funds received from donors or as loans were used to fight the pandemic.
“We demand full disclosure, transparency and accountability for all Covid-19 funds, resources and equipment from all sources including loans, grants, donations and in-kind support both locally and internationally,” Ms Karua said.
The former Justice Minister said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe must take responsibility for what is going on at his ministry.
“CS Kagwe needs to make up his mind whether he wants to be the boss of Afya (Health) House or Mafya (Cartel),” she said.
She called for an investigation, arrest and successful prosecution of thieves at the Health ministry and across the government, people she said had made it possible to steal or abuse Covid-19 response funds and other resources.
“Not a single person has been prosecuted from the #MafyaHouseScandal of 2016 despite government promises to do so. President Kenyatta must address the endemic corruption in the health sector, including the adverse mention of people close to him,” Ms Karua said.
In the statement, Ms Karua wants the government to meet all medical needs of health workers diagnosed with Covid-19, immediately and unconditionally pay their pending salaries, provide quality and sufficient personal protective equipment (PPEs), and pay comprehensive medical insurance to all frontline health workers and their families.
On BBI, Ms Karua said the initiative was not serving any purpose and was akin to “building bridges where there is no river.”
“The government should disclose and re-allocate BBI funds to Covid-19 response and recovery. We demand an account of all the money that has been allocated and/or spent on the BBI project. We demand the immediate cessation of these activities,” Ms Karua said.
She accused President Kenyatta’s government of failing to provide leadership in the fight against the virus.
“Though predictable, President Kenyatta’s silence in the face of this repeat performance of the theft and abuse of healthcare monies by public servants is regrettable even as the government shifts the corona burden from the state to citizens through a chorus of personal responsibility and self-care,” Ms Karua said.
She went on: “We can no longer to tie the destiny of tens of millions of Kenyans to the short term and selfish desires of heartless leadership. We are stating unequivocally that President Kenyatta’s private interests and 2022 succession must not be forced on Kenyans when his government remains incapable of doing what government are supposed to do: take care of its citizens and do no harm to them.”
The Narc-Kenya leader called for open, efficient and traceable cash transfer programmes to cushion citizens from the Covid-19 effects; provision of grants for medium, small and micro-enterprises that she said were the engine of Kenya’s economy; as well as the movement of the public health decisions from State House to the Ministry of Health, a process she said will avoid concentration of power “at the centre.”
Ms Karua concluded her statement with one hard-hitting conclusion: The government had failed.
“For all practical purposes, this government has collapsed. The only things that seems to be functioning in this government are mis-procurement, taxation and political patronage. Kenyans deserve better,” Ms Karua said.