Mutahi Kagwe, the Health Cabinet Secretary has refuted allegations that the ministry misappropriated funds allocated for the fight against Covid-19.
Addressing the media during the daily Covid-19 briefings at Afya House on Friday, May 1, the CS asserted that the accusations were misguided and lacked a substantive basis.
Highlighting the accusations, the ministry had been castigated for allegedly spending Ksh42 million in the lease of ambulances.
“It is very easy to put things out of context and make it look that there is theft going on in the ministry. Anybody who is culpable in any sort of expenditure if indeed there is one will not be spared,” CS Kagwe stated.
“Some of the things being said as theft are clear expenditures. When you say there is Ksh42 million spent on an ambulance, how much will you pay an ambulance to take you from your home and back?
“Ksh5.2 million out of the Ksh42 million is tax, that is VAT. You take 15 Covid-19 ambulances, put health workers in two shifts, PPEs, noting you have them for twelve weeks, spread it over three months, do the math and tell me where you can get such in this country?” he posed.
The CS urged members of the public to refrain from pointing fingers and putting things out of context and consider the time factor prior to making accusations of mismanagement of funds.
“Lets put things in perspective, not to say we are not investigating anything,” CS Kagwe pronounced, noting that no shilling would be spent on anything else other than the Covid-19 related issues.
The CS further stated that the Ksh2 million allegedly spent on airtime was justified, arguing that the ministry had deployed personnel across the country, with requirement and necessity that they communicate.
The CS had on Thursday, April 30, 2020, issued a statement advising members of the public to treat the allegations as mere propaganda, stating they were aimed at derailing the fight against Covid-19.
“And so I am here to let you know that among us is a cohort that believes in exploitation and that thinks that by spreading lies, innuendo and propaganda, I will be intimidated and worse, lose the trust of you – the Kenyan – who believes in our cause and my integrity,” Kagwe had written.
He had assured Kenyans that his office would not tolerate any kind of mismanagement of funds, further stating that he would sanitize the ministry.
“There will be no theft of Covid-19 resources under my watch and if there is any truth regarding the misuse of Covid-19 funds, beyond being disheartened, I guarantee you that those responsible will be out of the ministry faster than we can blink,” Kagwe had assured.
The CS stated that every shilling in the ministry was investigated and accounted for.