The county government of TharakaNithi led by Muthomi Njuki is one the counties whose governors have embezzled the money meant to help fight the covid-19 pandemic according to senate committee report.
The 47 counties received Sh 13.1 billion in the period between March 13 and July 31 this year according to the controller of budget (CoB).It is through this funding that the counties including TharakaNithi took as a chance to procure materials at a exaggerated prices.
According to the report by the senate commitee on corona pandemic submitted to the senate,the counties used the money in fuel, buying of masks,sanitizers,soaps,detergents,food rations and bedding.Other materials include linen, gumboots,accommodation,allowances and acquisition of personal protective equipments(PPEs)in guise of the required equipments.
It will be remembered that TharakaNithi county hit headlines from critics it faced following procuring of 6 new motorbikes and vehicle to ‘chase’ corona out of the county.The vehicles and motorbikes meant for subcounty officers was to boost surveillance and monitoring of the situations in the county as a measure to curve spreading of the virus.
The senate committee report revealed that the timing of the funds was conspicuously close to the end of the financial year 2019/20 making counties get an excuse of being unable to prepare a budget for the grant.To worsen the situation a number of counties still had unused money in their accounts as of July 31st and thus they could not withdraw them.
From the total Sh 13.1 billion from the treasury to counties,Sh 5 billion was allocated for quarantine and isolation expenditure,Sh 2.36 billion for allowances and front line health workers, Sh 350 million DANIDS grants for surpot of level 2 and 3 towards fighting the covid-19 and 5.39 billion for counties own funds.
TharakaNithi according to the report spent Sh 827 million to pay pending bills, Sh 9.3 million on face shields and Sh 3.7 million on thermometers towards fighting the covid 19 pandemic.
Neighbouring counties like Meru according to the report used Sh 10.1 million on face masks, Sh 1.1 million on hand washing containers, Sh 3.5 million on non woven masks, Sh 1.8 million on public sensitization and Sh 1.8 million on fumigation chemicals.
Embu county on other hand has been categorised in the list of counties that did not report any expenditure towards covid-19 scourge.
Ethics and Anti-corruption commission having promised to bring the involved county bosses to book,Tharaka Nithi residents are left to wait for fate to determine if they will get justice over their cash.