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Groups hold demos over Covid cash ‘theft’

By People Team
Tuesday, August 25th, 2020
Vincent Tanui, a Nakuru human rights defender arrested during a demonstration. Photo/PD/Raphael Munge
In summary

At least 26 lobby groups have piled pressure on National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani to publish a detailed expenditure information on all funds advanced for the Covid-19 pandemic response.

This should include but not limited to donations, donor grants, loans, and salary cuts for civil servants, reallocation of budget lines and the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Board. 

 Treasury has so far received over Sh50 billion in donor grants and loans from international institutions to help the country fight the novel coronavirus. 

“We have noted with great concern, gaps in transparency and accountability by government agencies charged with managing Covid-19 resources,” they  said in a statement dated August 24.

As such, Amnesty International Kenya and Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, have asked Health CS  Mutahi Kagwe to provide full disclosure on the distribution of  PPEs acquired by the government, whether purchased or donated.  They want the CS to give  full details on the sources and recipients. 

Elsewhere in Nakuru, human rights activists engaged anti-police in running battles as they held protests in the  CBD  against alleged theft of supplies for the fight against Corona.  

Vincent Tanui, a human rights defender, condemned the use of force by police in spite of the picketing being peaceful and having proper documentation from the police boss over the same. 

In Western Kenya, a group of civil society organisations yesterday held demonstrations to demand accountability over reportedly misappropriated Covid-19 response funds. 

Team demanded that the relevant government agencies immediately publish the names of companies and their owners and individuals awarded any contract for the provision of Covid-19 related commodities or services.

 Led by Kondele human rights activist defender Boniface Ogutu, the group also demanded that CS Kagwe takes responsibility by providing full disclosure on the distribution of  PPEs.

In their 10-point memorandum, the groups want the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority to publish a market price index of all essential drugs and commodities required for the management and respond to Corona. Reporting by Hillary Mageka, Viola Kosome and Roy Lumbe

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