Questions as Kenya pays 50 doctors working in Seychelles – Business Daily

KUTRRH acting chief executive Victor Njom. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG
An audit has revealed that taxpayers continued to pay salaries of 50 medical personnel who were sent to work in Seychelles during the Covid-19 response campaign.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned why public money was spent on doctors despite working for a different country.
MPs say no reason has been given to explain why Kenya decided to help Seychelles despite the country being far more developed.
“The management of Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) irregularly used public funds to pay salaries for 50 medical personnel who were recruited and sent to work in Seychelles in Covid-19 response campaign,” the MPs said.
KUTRRH acting chief executive Victor Njom told parliament that a memo came from the principal secretary directing the hospital to send the health workers to Seychelles.
“We got authorisation from the Health PS that because we have Covid-19 funds, we draw from it to support the 50 newly recruited staff,” Dr Njom told the committee.
But auditors rejected the explanation saying this was a government-to-government agreement, and should therefore have received its own funding and not the institution’s conditional fund.
The special audit indicates that the Kenyan government received Sh214.91 billion in the year 2020 to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The money includes Sh113.18 billion loan from the World Bank, Sh78.33 billion from International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sh22.41 billion, Africa Development Bank (ADB), and Sh638.31 million by the European Union (EU) and a Sh350 million grant from Danida.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu says the utilisation of the Covid-19 funds between March 13, 2020, and July 31, 2020 shows that the monthly remuneration for the 50 newly recruited staff was charged from the Covid-19 fund.
“This is notwithstanding that the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE), under the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act,
The MPs are seeking to know why a request to send the medical personnel to Seychelles did not come with any financial support.
Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu said that the remuneration for the 50 staff was charged from the Covid-19 fund.
The Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE), under the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, does not support the expenditure.
The Covid-19 fund was largely financed through loans that the government procured from donors.
The audit indicates that the Kenyan government received Sh214.91 billion during the period under review to fight the pandemic.
The funds were meant for the Covid-19 emergency response support, public accountability and service.
The audit shows that during the period, KUTRRH had received Sh1.3 billion from the Covid-19 fund and as at October 2020, it had utilised Sh203.54 million.
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By Kwetu Buzz

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