HOLD OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE

Covid-19 funds shrouded in mystery, says MP Ali

MP says some politicians are using pandemic to seek funds from donors abroad for own benefit

In Summary

• Says Kenya has received hundreds of billions from donors but has relatively little to show for them.

• In his Labour Day speech at State House, Uhuru said every single cent will be accounted for adding that there will be a public audit of the funds.

Nyali MP Mohammed Ali donates food to Karisa Chengo and his family at Kadzandani on Monday evening.
REPRIEVE: Nyali MP Mohammed Ali donates food to Karisa Chengo and his family at Kadzandani on Monday evening.
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

The government must issue a breakdown of how the Covid-19 funds donated to Kenya have been utilised to inspire trust, Nyali MP Mohammed Ali has said.

Ali said Kenya has received hundreds of billions of shillings from donors, foreign governments and international agencies - like the World Bank - but has relatively little to show for them.

“Instead of these people sitting down and planning how this money will benefit vulnerable people at the grassroots, they are busy making tea worth Sh4 million? Is the sugar in that tea made of gold?” Ali asked.

 

He spoke on Monday evening while distributing the first batch of 1,000 bags of foodstuffs to vulnerable residents of Ziwa la Ng’ombe ward, Moroto, Kwa Bulo and some parts of Kadzandani in Nyali constituency.

Kenya Red Cross officers were charged with distributing the food with the police providing protection for the exercise which ended at around 3am Tuesday, earning praise from Ali.

Nyali MP Mohammed Ali donates food to Nyamvula Zawadi and her family at Moroto on Monday evening.
SPIRIT OF GIVING: Nyali MP Mohammed Ali donates food to Nyamvula Zawadi and her family at Moroto on Monday evening.
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

Ali’s comments come less than a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed as cheap politics claims by critics that the funds are being misappropriated and embezzled.

In his Labour Day speech at State House Nairobi, Uhuru said every single cent will be accounted for adding that there will be a public audit of the funds.

“Let us not use this fight against coronavirus 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.

“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.”

On Monday, Ali said there is a lot of corruption involved in the handling of the Covid-19 funds.

 

The MP said there are only about five powerful tycoons benefitting from the funds at the expense of around 45 million Kenyans.

“We are alert. We are watching you. After this, you will have to explain to us where this money that has been donated has gone to,” the lawmaker said.

Some politicians, he said, are using the pandemic to seek funds from donors abroad.

Nyali MP Mohammed Ali donates food to residents of Ziwa la Ng'ombe on Monday evening.
TAKE THIS: Nyali MP Mohammed Ali donates food to residents of Ziwa la Ng'ombe on Monday evening.
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

This money does not reach the stated targets when sent to them, he said.

The first-time MP, who was elected as an independent candidate, said he will push Parliament to grill Health ministry officials to account for every penny.

Edited by R.Wamochie