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Uhuru, Kagwe promise transparency, accountability in use of Covid-19 funds

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged that funds allocated to and spent in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic will be audited publicly once the disease is dealt with.

In his Labour Day speech from State House Nairobi, Kenyatta said “every shilling, every cent” will be accounted for, accusing those raising questions on how the funds have been used of engaging in cheap politics.

“Let us not use this fight against coronavirus to be like our time to play petty politics. All the money that has been spent in this pandemic, when its time comes, will be audited in broad daylight,” he said.

The president went on: “We will make it public. Nothing will be hidden. But now is not the time to quarrel. It is the time to save lives, dear leaders. If you have mercy on your people, this is the time for you to be supportive of the efforts that we are all undertaking to ensure that we defeat this virus.”

He warned politicians and citizens against sensationalising the matter, in sentiments echoed by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during his update on covid-19.

Kagwe accused a ‘cohort’ of tarnishing his name over spending of Covid-19 funds, refuting claims that his companies were doing business with the government.

He was responding to questions from journalists on his Facebook post where he linked unnamed persons to efforts to link his ministry with scandals to erode public confidence in his office and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“I’m sure you have heard some even saying that my company got the contract for communication,” he said on Friday.

The ministry of health on Wednesday availed a breakdown of how it spent Sh1 billion received from the World Bank for the fight against the Covid-19 infections.

In its communications, which includes advertising, the ministry spent Sh70 million.

He, however, clarified that he was not referring to people in the government as the ‘cohort’ spreading propaganda against him and the ministry, but rather outsiders.

Kagwe at the same time, though, defended ow some of the finances were utilised.

“Some details being explained as theft are clear expenditures. Anybody culpable of even Sh1 from the covid-19 fund, will not be spared. When you say Sh42 million for ambulance…first of all, Sh5 million is tax. It is good to put things in perspective …let’s put things into perspective.” he said.

Claims that the funds were misappropriated and used majorly on non-essentials has caused wide uproar after a copy of the expenditure sent to parliament was leaked.