Nairobi, 05 May, 2020 / 5:05 am (ACI Africa).
Catholic Bishops in the East African nation of Kenya have raised concerns over the alleged misappropriation of the over KES.1 billion (US$10 million) COVID-19 Emergency Fund that has been so far raised by well-wishers and corporate firms in view of cushioning vulnerable Kenyans against the impacts of restrictions due to the pandemic.
“As a Church ... we are concerned by the reports that some funds meant for the pandemic containment appear to be misused,” the Vice-Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Bishop John Oballa Owaa said Sunday, May 3 at the end of the televised Mass at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.
“We appeal to the Government to ensure that the funds available are used solely for the purpose of fighting the pandemic and returning the country to normalcy,” Bishop Oballa added, reading the collective statement of the Bishops in Kenya.
On April 30, one of Kenya’s daily newspaper, The Standard quoted a government document indicating that the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) had spent KES.1.3 billion (US$13 million) since the outbreak of the pandemic around mid-March.
A breakdown of the funds donated by the World Bank for COVID-19 Emergency Response indicated that KES.42 million (US$420,000.00) was used for leasing 15 ambulances at the cost KES.2.8 million (US$280,000.00) each, KES.4 million (US$40,000.00) for tea and snacks, and KES.2 million (US$20,000.00) for airtime.