Revealed:Over Ksh1.3billion collected to help fight Covid_19 were stolen before reaching Treasury Accounts

Parliament is investigating missing millions of shillings collected by the President’s Covid-19 task force after it emerged the money never hit Treasury accounts.

Treasury PS Julius Muia on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee that the emergency cash collected by the task force is not reflected in the Treasury’s books of accounts. This was after the fund was transformed into a private limited company.

The exact amount is not known but Sh1.3 billion was collected by December 31, 2020.

The Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund was formed on March 27, 2020 to among others facilitate voluntary contributions to help in the fight against the respiratory disease in the country.

Kenya Breweries Ltd managing director Jane Karuku was the chairperson of the 12-member board drawn from both the government and private sector.

Appearing before Public Accounts Committee, Muia disclosed Treasury was not represented in the Fund and the board was entirely responsible for the accounting of the funds received.

This non-representation was contrary to the Legal Notice No. 38 that created the Fund and mandated the Treasury PS as the administrator.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu said Kennedy Kihara from the Office of the President was the administrator of the Fund after it changed status from public to private company.

“The taskforce monies are not in our books of accounts, as National Treasury we did not participate on what was going on in the company. If you look at the composition of the Board we were not represented as National Treasury,” Muia said.

MPs asked how the Fund that was created under Public Finance Management Act transformed itself into a private company, even after collecting money from the public.

The Committee is investigating how government agencies used funds in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in the country between March 13, 2020, and July 31, 2020.

Wandayi said the oversight committee will invite both the Fund chairperson and Attorney General to explain the situation further.

The PS also told PAC Treasury received Sh224 billion from various sources between the period to manage the pandemic.

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