House committee to grill Kagwe on Corona funds, Kemri strike threats

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. Photo/PD/FILE

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is this afternoon expected  to appear before the Health Committee of the  National Assembly to explain the handling of money allocated to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Committee chairperson Sabina Chege said the CS had been invited to give details on how more than Sh1.3 billion had been spent.

“We expect the CS to defend his budget for the current financial year,” Chege told People Daily on phone.

Kagwe will also be asked to explain the situation at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) where researchers have threatened to go on strike to protest delayed pay.

“We will also ask the CS to inform us what led to the suspension of a scientist in charge of Covid-19 testing at Kemri Dr Joel Lutomiah,” she said.

Kemri scientist

Kagwe (above) instructed Kemri Director-General Prof Yeri Kombe to remove Dr Lutomiah from any leadership position at Kemri.

Kemri has been facing financial problems which have led to a go-slow by staff to protest delayed payments of salaries and allowances.

Chege, however, said she read politics in claims of misuse of funds, saying cartels at Afya House were known.

“The first thing we should ask ourselves is what role the cartels play?” posed Chege.

Last week , MPs raised concerns over how the Covid-19 funds were being utilised and have demanded a thorough audit of the funds.

Senators have also claimed the pandemic had been turned into a “cash cow” by some government officials.

Last week Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani told Parliament that the government had received Sh6 billion from the World Bank towards containing the virus. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has also said the World Bank funds would be accounted for.

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