The Covid-19 pandemic is still here with us, the government has used a lot of the donations it has received in its fight, however, there are some instances where the rationality of it all has been questioned.
Kenya still doesn’t have an Auditor General since Edward Ouko term expired in August last year, and as Covid-19 continues to bite, parastatals are throwing money here and there in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Government too keeps on receiving donations and loans to fight the SARS-COV2 virus. Most of these monies are now in danger of being mismanaged and without an Auditor General, things can get messy.
At the counties, the Vihiga County Communications Director Victor Wetende came under fire for using part of the covid-19 funds to purchase a car.
Communication from Governor Wilber Otichilo’s office indicated Wetende may be suspended and eventually sacked after repeatedly signing for millions of shillings in the last year he has been in office, which he claims is for media coverage, but ends up spending it in wayward ways.
A Sh1.5 million that was given to the department is alleged to have been used to purchase a car, a Toyota Passo, in April 2020.
The funds which were earmarked as having been used for media coverage angered the Governor Wilberforce Otichilo.
“The Governor has been patient on him, forgiving him for mounting on peoples’ wives unnecessarily, but I do not think if he will survive this time round,” the source from the Governor’s circles said.
The report, signed by the acting Medical Services chief officer, Dr Richard Boiyo, indicated the Covid-19 committee spent Sh1.5 million on media coverage. According to the report, the vote on media coverage was used to create awareness to the general public on the dangers and preventive measures of Covid-19.
Of the Sh1.5 million, Sh175,000 was spent on hiring of a public address system, Sh100,000 on lunch for communication officers while radio advertisements took Sh780,000.
Under the same vote, graphic design took Sh40,000, video editing and scripting Sh171,000, banners Sh75,000, drinks and another Sh350,000 was spent on snacks and meals during coverage.
According to the documents that are being interrogated by the Assembly’s Health Committee, Sh70,000 is said to have been spent on hiring of Live-U and Sh65,600 on hiring of a still camera.
The expenditures saw Sh25,000 spent on the purchase of internet/bundles and Sh61,250 was used to buy DVDs.
Staff in the Communications office have been incensed after revelation of the figures, yet they have been doing all this work for free, and even on some days going without lunch.
Lugaga/Wamuluma MCA Victor Ijaika noted it was a pity funds have been spent on non-essential areas when locals were struggling under the effects of the pandemic.
The Vihiga Covid-19 committee co-chaired by Governor Wilber Ottichilo and County Commissioner Ochilo Oyugi has consequently come into sharp focus following the statement that was sought by Lugaga/Wamuluma MCA Victor Ijaika.
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