At least 12 governors could be charged over how they spent Sh7.7 billion Covid-19 funds received during the early months of the pandemic as agencies start to investigate massive irregularities revealed by the Auditor General.
The devolved units are on the spot for making double payments for procured items, splurging cash without work plans or budgets, paying for goods without contracts and disregarding procurement laws to give contracts to dubious firms.
A preliminary study of the audit indicates that at least 12 governors may find themselves in trouble over massive misuse of the funds allocated to them.
This is as pressure continues to mount on the government to account for Covid-19 funds.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last month gave the government until the end of May to provide an account of how it spent monies advanced to it by global partners on Covid-19 as part of the conditions of accessing a Sh255 billion shilling loan.
The Sunday Nation is aware that officials seconded from Bretton Woods institution have been camping at the Treasury helping to audit all government expenditures on the pandemic with a fine-tooth comb for the past three weeks.
The Senate's Health Committee began to question governors last week over how they spent monies advanced to them to fight the pandemic. Seven governors have so far appeared virtually before the Senate for questioning since last week when the exercise began.
These are Kisumu, Wajir, Murang’a, Vihiga, Kajiado, Kisii and Kitui. The exercise, which will continue for the next one month until June 3 will resume on Monday with Machakos taking the stand followed by Turkana.
The rubber will, however, meet the road when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which we are aware has picked up the matter, establishes if there is a criminal liability on the part of the governors from the counties in question.
Embu, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Nyeri and Kirinyaga had poor records in their stores which made it impossible to know what was donated to those counties to help in fighting Covid 19. Kiambu in particular has no evidence showing that it received maize, rice, sugar, cooking oil, beans and green grams from the Emergency Response Fund.
While the above examples could be wished away as being results of poor record-keeping, 12 counties engaged in what is outright criminal in the way they handled the money they received.
Like in Homa Bay, the county transferred Sh2,080,000 from its Emergency Fund to the Homa Bay County Assembly Mortgage repayment account.
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