Parliament’s Covid-19 Taskforce committee has revealed discrepancies in the Ministry of Health Covid-19 expenditure following an accountability report presented by Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng
The Parliament Covid-19 Taskforce committee has discovered
discrepancies in the Ministry of Health Covid-19 expenditure. The accountability
report was presented to the committee by the Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng.
This is highlighted in the committee report that is scheduled to be presented
before parliament by Chairperson Abdu Katuntu. During the financial year
2019/2020, parliament appropriated 94.188 billion Shillings under a
supplementary budget to support the country’s response towards the Covid-19
However, the Ministry of Health in its submission to the Taskforce indicated
that by end of the financial year in June 2020, a total of 92.431 billion had
been spent and a balance of 1.757 billion shillings was returned to the
“A review of the detailed breakdown of the actual expenditure submitted to the
Taskforce revealed a total of 99.069 billion as having been spent instead of
the reported 92.431 billion.
The task force noted that this figure is over and above the appropriated
amount by 4.881 billion. The source of the additional funds totalling 4.881
billion remains unknown,” reveals the report.
The Taskforce further highlights the discrepancy in the purchase and national
wide distribution of fabric masks worth 88.084 billion Shillings which decision
was taken by the government as a condition for lifting the lockdown in May
Cabinet then directed the Ministry of Health to provide non-medical and
reusable face masks totalling 34,109,085 to all persons above 6 years of age.
“In addition, as a pre-requisite to reopening of schools, the cabinet directed
that all learners should be provided with fabric masks. Therefore, this
necessitated a procurement of an additional 2,592,963 masks for finalists in
candidate classes. Consequently, a total of 36,702,048 masks at 2,400 Shillings
per mask were procured and distributed to 135 districts and all finalist
learners across the country,” reads the report.
However, the committee says that a review of the Ministry of Health
accountability of Covid-19 funding (March 2020 to June 2021) reveals that a
total of 90.99 billion shillings was spent in respect to the procurement of
fabric masks for communities (35,323,287) and finalist learners (2,592,963)
totalling to 37,916,250 which is different from figures submitted by Minister
Aceng in her report dated 7th July 2021.
“The analysis reveals a
discrepancy in both the reported number of fabric masks procured and
distributed (1,214,202) and the amount of money received and spent (2,914
billion) on procurement of the fabric masks,” Katuntu reports.
The committee recommends that the Minister of Health should explain the discrepancy
arising from her report.
The Taskforce also recommends that government submits detailed
accountability to parliament for 22.18 billion shillings appropriated to
facilitate the establishment of 20 isolation centres per district indicating
the location in each district where such facilities were established.
“During the financial year 2019/2020, parliament appropriated a total of 22.18
billion to support the establishment of 20 Isolation Centers in each district
and to undertake surveillance as a means of slowing down on disease
transmission. However, while on field visits to various districts, the
committee teams established that in most of these districts, not a single
Isolation centre ever existed,” further reads the report.
Katuntu also notes that whereas there is still a deficit of the required
budgetary allocation towards procurement of the much-needed vaccines to the
tune of 365.9 billion Shillings, the Government is still spending huge sums of
money on Covid-19 containment measures instead of prioritizing mass
He says that since the onset of Covid-19 in the financial year 2019/2020, a
total of 142.23 billion has so far been provided towards operational funds for
enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown directives.