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Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache/FILE/MOH

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Sh1.3bn virus containment budget unexpended – PS Mochache

NAIROBI, Kenya May 2 – Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has termed media reports indicating the health ministry had incurred Sh1.3bn expenditure so far in efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus as misleading.

Although a report presented by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to the National Assembly on Wednesday indicated the ministry had already committed the monies for leasing of ambulances, acquiring protective equipment as well as fueling vehicles used by surveillance teams, Mochache Friday said no money has been spent yet.

In a statement released hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed claims that money may have been misappropriated assuring the country of a thorough audit, Mochache said only part of the Sh1bn the World Bank Committed had been received.

She clarified that said only part of the Sh1bn the World Bank committed had been received.

“It is not, therefore true that the amount has already been spent and the kitty exhausted. Only part of the Sh1 billion has so far been received and so far no money has been spent at all. It is therefore a gross misrepresentation to state that the Ministry has already spent the money,” Mochache, the ministry’s principal accounting officer indicated.

An earlier report tabled in Parliament showed that a total of Sh 1.3 billion expenditure spent by the ministry in COVID-19 containment efforts includes a Sh1 billion donation by World Bank under Transforming Health Systems (THS) for Universal Care Project.

The PS, nonetheless, said the utilization of the budget support is ongoing and that the money will be dispensed on a need basis, from time to time, over a period of six months ending in September.

“All Government and World Bank procedures on utilization of donor funding will be strictly and meticulously compiled with.The Ministry is open to scrutiny by all relevant agencies to confirm the expenditure of money at any time,” she said.

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According to the initial report, Sh330 million was spent on laboratory equipment with Sh277 million funding procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Test kits were procured at the cost of Sh196 million while while Sh42 million was used to lease 15 ambulances.

Fuel and maintenance of approximately 30 vehicles cost the taxpayer Sh14 million and Sh70 million was channeled towards communications. Tea and snacks accounted for Sh4 million.

The Health CS, in the initial report, said the ministry is awaiting an additional Sh2.3 billion from the World Bank to support the national COVID-19 response.

“A further USD 50 million has been negotiated to support COVID response. Already Sh 2.66 billion is being processed to be accessed in the IFMIS. Additional Shs 2.34 billion will be confirmed upon finalization of Supplementary No.II for FY 2019/20,” Kagwe told lawmakers.

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