CORRUPTION SUSPECTED

Sh500 million Kitui Covid funds misused, report shows

Implementation committee wants EACC to investigate the irregularities

In Summary

•The committee says the money was distributed to four county departments.

• Health and Sanitation Sh265,934,531, Education, ICT and Youth Sh62,383,000, Trade  Sh55,000,000 and Agriculture and Water Sh45,000,000.

Mumoni MCA Johnson Kanandu who tabled the Covid-19 funds utilization reports compiled by the Kitui County Assembly utilization committee on Tuesday last week.
Mumoni MCA Johnson Kanandu who tabled the Covid-19 funds utilization reports compiled by the Kitui County Assembly utilization committee on Tuesday last week.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

The Kitui county assembly will Tuesday deliberate on a report that has revealed how Sh500 million allocated for Covid-19 mitigation in 2019-2020 was used for other purposes.

The assembly will debate and decide whether it will adopt the implementation committee report that states most of the Covid funds from the National Treasury and donors were misallocated.

The committee had been mandated to enquire into the usage of Covid funds.

Chaired by Kwa-Mutonga MCA David Thuvi, the committee recommended that EACC investigates the irregularities in the use of the funds, the violation of the law and the framework on the utilization of the Covid-19 funds.

It also wants explanations and justification for the dubious spending.

The report was on Tuesday last week tabled before the assembly by a member and Mumoni MCA Johnson Kanandu.

Kitui acting chief health officer Allan Owino told the committee that the county had received Sh498,160,000 from the Covid-19 emergency response fund but the auditor general's report gives a varying figure of Sh527,484,655.

The report further indicates that the Kitui county assembly topped up the Covid-19 funds with an appropriation of Sh100 million through a supplementary budget.

However, the funds were used in violation of the Covid-19 funds' framework on utilization.

The committee says the money was distributed to four county departments.

They are Health and Sanitation Sh265,934,531, Education, ICT and youth development Sh62,383,000, Trade and investments Sh55,000,000 and Agriculture and water Sh45,000,000.

The committee also seeks justification from the health department how Sh78,160,000 was utilized without the approval of the assembly.

The committee further expressed reservation that the funds were irregularly used to purchase equipment for a mango and tomato processing plant and equipment for Kitui County Textile Center.

Other outfits that were named as undesired beneficiaries of the Covid funds were Kitui Pharm Industries, both the Manyenyoni shoe and furniture factories and the Kitui Youths Skills and Enterprise Centre.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris