CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

Civil societies call for audit of Covid-19 expenditure

They want Kenyans to be involved in policy making

In Summary
  • Over 30 NGOs want dubious deals investigated, suspects prosecuted and stolen funds recovered.
  • NGOs say that issues raised by health workers must be addressed to save their lives.

Civil society groups want the government to audit and make the Covid-19 expenditure public.

Over 30 NGOs also want dubious deals investigated, suspects prosecuted and stolen funds recovered.

 They also want citizens involved in the making of policies to counter the virus.

 
 

In a statement issued on Sunday, the societies said issues raised by health workers must be addressed to save their lives.

“The gaps in transparency and accountability provide loopholes to overpricing of commodities, purchase of substandard PPEs and embezzlement of commodities,” the organisations said.

The NGOs include Transparency International, Amnesty International, Association of Professional Societies in East Africa, Civil Society Reference Group, Constitution and Reform Education Consortium and County Governance Watch.

Others are Global Compact Network Kenya, Institute of Economic Affairs, Katiba Institute, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Kenya Medical Association, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers among others.

“The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority must publish a market price index of essential drugs and commodities required for the management and response to Covid-19 to guide procuring entities on price ceilings and provide safeguards against the inflation of commodity price,” they said.

They want government agencies to publish names of companies, beneficial owners and individuals awarded contracts.

“Kagwe should provide a report on the number of medical practitioners who have been recruited and deployed to the workstations as advertised using the funds provided by the World Bank,” they said.

 
 

They want a report on what the government has done to assess and address the occupational health and safety of medical practitioners, as a guarantee to their protection and put in place a life assurance cover and compensation package for their dependants in case of demise in the line of duty.

Among other demands are the publishing of detailed expenditure information on all funds advanced to the Covid-19 response efforts through donations, donor grants, loans, salary cuts for civil servants, reallocation of budgets and other sources by all recipient entities.

Also among their demands are the making public functional bed capacity, availability of Oxygen supplies, PPEs and medical professionals available, disclosure of full details on the distribution of PPEs acquired by the Government.

They also want counties to publish detailed expenditure information on all resources received for the Covid-19 response efforts.

“Development partners and international financial institutions must demand that the government publishes full information on the disbursement, allocation and utilisation of all funds advanced as grants or loans,” they said.

They called on the development partners to make public grant agreements signed with Government.

“Functions of the National Co-ordination Committee on the Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic must be de-linked from the Ministry of Health, particularly in regard to financial management to enhance professionalism and integrity in the management of COVID-19 resources,” they said.

They also want the publishing of all information on the criteria for allocation and distribution of social protection, the list of all beneficiaries and amounts disbursed.

The groups demanded EACC to fast-track independent investigations on reported graft cases and the DPP to ensure timely prosecution as the Judiciary facilitates the speedy hearing and determination of these cases so that those found culpable are brought to book.

"The President must involve anti-corruption and other oversight agencies and, civil society organisations, in the National Co-ordination Committee on the Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic to steer comprehensive anti-corruption measures that will insulate Covid-19 resources against further pilferage, they added.