Turkana County Governor, Josphat Nanok was recently taken to task by the Senate Health Committee over diversion of funds meant for combating Covid-19 pandemic to other projects.
Over 212.44 million allocated to Turkana County for the war against Covid 19 was diverted to other projects, which is illegal according to Section 53 (1) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015.
The Governor’s administration was also questioned over awarding of tenders to unqualified firms. According to the special audit report on utilization of Covid funds by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, the county also awarded a Sh12 million tender to Trevyion Enterprises for supply of personal protective equipment. However, the firm lacked tax compliance and Kenya Revenue Authority PIN certificates. In addition, it was awarded a Sh1.56 million tender for supply of urgent goods and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) on April 24, 2020. By the time, the special audit of Covid funds was being conducted, the urgent PPEs had not been delivered.
Further, the county government awarded a Sh3.14 million tender to Ultraceuticals Pharmacy for the supply of facemasks, yet the premises’ registration certificate for pharmaceutical technologists’ practice for the supplier had expired by December 31, 2018.
Turkana County has been marred by allegations of graft, with fingers being pointed at county government officials, quite worrying for a marginalized area whose residents are in dire need of the funds to alleviate constant sufferings from the region’s harsh climate.
The Auditor General has been praised for doing a commendable job in highlighting cases of misappropriation of public funds by various public institutions and county governments.