While the focus has been on the national table over misappropriation of Covid funds, the biggest shock could be awaiting Kenyans as it appears the major heist happened in the counties.
According to a report by the office of controller of budget seen by Kenya Insights and presented before the senate committee outlining how the counties utilized the Covid funds, the filth is unimaginable.
The counties received Sh13.1 billion.
It turns out most counties spent the money on items unrelated to Covid19 and generally exaggerated prices for items opening a pandora box of misappropriation.
Busia County for instance spent Sh5M on food for Covid patients according the budget review even though it’s clear that they haven’t been holding much of patients in the county, even if it’s elephants eating, the amount for just food for patients is unconvincing.
Elgeyo Marakwet received Sh167.3M for Covid and according to the breakdown, spent Sh110.1M. In listing the items, there’s repetitions begins with they’re typing errors or accounting tactics to balance the books.
What is disturbing from the budget is the purchase of TVs which are unrelated to Covid, the County spent Sh240,000 on the 40” sets. There are also unexplainable items like ‘refined fuels’ which they spent Sh1.5M on. Toiletries for Sh1.5M is highly questionable.
Garissa had the highest amount spent on surgical masks at Sh6M. It should be a task to find out if indeed the said was delivered and distributed. Most counties sober average of Sh2M on surgical masks.
Homa Bay quotes Sh4.2M as amount spent on water and sanitation. The figure looks bloated.
Isiolo County lists Sh3M as money spent on face masks which they say was bought at Sh61 this is almost double the market value which is Sh20. Also they spent Sh240,000 on T-shirts on volunteers at Sh800 each, this is obviously exaggerated since an average price would be Sh500 for a branded T-shirt.
Kajiado spent Sh6,287,000 on 500 mattresses which translates to Sh12,574 unrealistic figure for hospital mattresses.
Kakamega spent Sh1.9M on publicity and further Sh522,000 on sensitization. The two items more of serves the same purpose and further scrutiny should establish what exactly they stood for. Kakamega also spent Sh46M on what they lost as executive beds, one wonders why a luxury budget had to be allocated while simple beds would do. That’s huge amount for beds when medical supplies they only spent Sh7.4M.
Kilifi spent Sh20M on the purchase of a generator for isolation center a figure that investigations should dive in on to establish the correct market figure. Sh10M on bar soaps. Bin liners for Sh3M.
Kisii has suspicious expenditures; Sh6.6M spent on ‘electrical and mechanical works to beds and wards’ which is loosely translated as maintenance of existing facilities, that amount looks outrageous with the nature of the work listed.
Kisii also spent Sh10M on food, Sh8M on ‘ICT support equipment’ this is outright outside Covid supplies. Sh6M on ‘emergency supplies’. Outrageous Sh17M was spent on fumigation, they must have been spraying with material imported from Venus.
Mandera spent Sh54M on masks, that’s not a small figure for such an item, audit on that is needed. Sh28M on hand sanitizers, again a suspicious figure. Sh16M on perimeter wall and walkway, this is absolutely unrelated to Covid and appears as a forced project to benefit the contractors and their accomplices, an audit of firms involved and investigations into possible links with county officials to siphon funds should be initiated.
Sh6.3M was spent on car hire for staff for 3 months, that amount is enough to purchase new cars to facilitate field movements. This is an old school card, the owners of the cars should be known and investigations would establish if there’s a relationship with any of county officials, this one of known ways of funds siphoning.
Garissa spent Sh19.7M on N95 masks then slides in another suspicious Sh3.7M N95 ‘plain’ masks like what’s the difference? A verification of the items therefore need to be done beyond the paperwork.
Sh1.9M on surgeon gown? What type of gown is that? Garissa also spent Sh1M to purchase Jik, yes Jik. Brooms for Sh550,000, computers and printers Sh540,000 unrelated to Covid. Also spent Sh354,000 to purchase TVs. Sh386,460 on metallic drug cabinets which coincides with the Sh16M spent on biosafety cabinets, a lot of jargon and nothing to squeeze and fit the budget.
Garissa spent Sh577.5M on Covid making it one of the top spenders and a good reason for auditor general to fully scrutinize the spendings.
Migori spent Sh1.4M on purchase of television. The confusion doesn’t end there, in the listing, there are recurring expenditures itemized in different groups Sh1.6M listed as amount for purchasing essential medicine for COVID-19 management then under there’s also anti malarial, amoxicillin listed separately yet they should be itemized under the essential medicines.
Nakuru spent Sh9.3M on totally unrelated COVID-19 items, they bought branded bags, reflectors, umbrellas. Sh5M on awareness conferences. Sh23M in soap and food.
The expenditures are yet to be audited and the report won’t be shocking from the looks. Kenya Insights will further breakdown expenditures on all the counties.
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