Treasury CS Ukur Yattani spoke out to dispel reports that the government had spent Ksh1 billion every day for 40 days since the first Covid-19 case was reported in Kenya, as the mini-budget tabled before Parliament also indicated that the Ksh40 billion was the amount allocated to Covid-19 fight.
On Wednesday, April 22, various reports alleged that Treasury had spent Ksh1 billion per day ever since the first Coronavirus case was reported in Kenya on Friday, March 13.
“National Treasury’s response to Covid-19 pandemic cuts across all sectors; health, water and others. So far Ksh18 billion has been disbursed for various interventions like health, digging boreholes within slums, cash transfers and others. More resources to be released from Friday (April 24) with the passage of the supplementary budget,” CS Yattani tweeted on Wednesday, April 22.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani (Right) and Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui (Left), at NSSF building in Nairobi on January 16, 2020.
A report by The Standard on Thursday, April 23, further detailed that the mini-budget tabled before Parliament in mid-April indicated that Ksh40.3 billion was allocated to the Covid-19 fight.
Within the Ksh40.3 billion, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) had been allocated an extra Ksh 1.5 billion for anti-coronavirus operation – gathering intelligence to identify hotspots and track suspected cases and also monitoring movements of contacts of Covid-19 patients.
Part of the money will also be used to cushion the vulnerable people who face insurmountable difficulties such as job losses.
Maize farmers will also benefit from the cash that the state has allocated towards the Strategic Grain Reserve to be used in preparation for tough times ahead. The vulnerable, those in arid and semi-arid areas and the prisons department will also benefit from the funds.
Another report by The Standard also detailed that according to Yattani, the money comprised Ksh33.4 billion under recurrent budget and Ksh6.9 billion under development budget.
The breakdown came at a time when Yattani was under fire, with the Ksh1 billion per day expenditure report sparking an outrage.
On Wednesday, April 22, Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina had called for Yattani to submit a report before his committee in relation to expenditures.
“Yattani should be ready to submit an itemized budget and audited accounts (income statements) to my committee soon!
“Some bellies will soon be pregnant with Covid-19 funds. How on earth would someone claim to have spent Ksh40 billion to combat Coronavirus in Kenya? While Kenyans are stranded in China?” Ledama tweeted.
Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina speaks at Narok County’s Building Bridges Initiative rally on Saturday, February 22, 2020