Governors Summoned Over Misuse Of COVID-19 Billions

April 1, 2021

All 47 county governors will in coming weeks undergo grilling on how they spent billions of public resources disbursed to counties to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the 2019/2020 financial year.

The Senate Health Committee says it has issued summons to county bosses and their Executive teams to appear before it for the probe.

The summon follows an in-depth analysis by the committee on a Special Audit Report on the utilization of COVID-19 funds by the devolved units.

According to the report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, counties flouted procurement laws, awarded tenders to select firms, and made questionable payments where billions of taxpayer’s money may have been lost.

Gathingu recommended to the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate at least 27 counties.

Some of these include Nairobi (Nairobi Metropolitan Service), Trans Nzoia, Murang’a, Busia, Kakamega, Meru, Embu, Homabay, Kisii, Bungoma, and Bomet counties.

Trans-Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito, who chairs the committee, tabled the findings of his panel saying they have summoned governors to explain the illegalities and irregularities flagged by the auditor.

“I wish to inform the House that the committee is seized of the special audit report of the Auditor-General on the utilization of Covid-19 funds by the county governments and is set to commence hearings with various county governments,” Mbito said.

“The committee is scheduled to hold hearings with the 47 county governments in the coming weeks. The hearings will be held for purposes of seeking clarifications from the Counties on the findings of the Special Audit Report, and establishing the level of pandemic preparedness and response across the counties,” he added.

The committee will hold hearings with two counties per day, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

“At an average rate of six counties per week, the Committee expects to finalize conducting its hearings in approximately two months,” he added.

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