Bungoma County is on the spot for doing refusing to purchase coronavirus (covid-19) personal protective equipment (PPE) for their medics, while at the same time borrowing exorbitant amount for awareness campaign.
The county medical staff through their leadership did a budget of Ksh123,000 for PPEs, but the county declined to buy the equipment on grounds that the county did not have money.
A day later, County Chief Officer Health and Sanitation, Mr Patrick Wandili wrote to the Medical superintendent Bungoma County Referral Hospital, borrowing Ksh6,986,000 for covid-19 awareness campaign.
The funds were marked as an emergency, with a promise that they would be refunded.
The monies are said to have been withdrawn to the county within 24 hours after they were requested, for the said campaign.
The campaign would be done by the finance department, instead of the medical department which is directly involved in the pandemic.
The money was to be refunded by close of business on March 27, 2020, but it is not yet clear whether the money was refunded to the hospital.
Due to the lack of the protective gear, on March 24, a patient who exhibited coronavirus-like symptoms was rejected in one of the county hospitals, forcing him to be transferred to Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi.
Seemingly, in a bid to justify the expenditure, governor Wycliffe Wangamati asked the national government to include Bungoma among the coronavirus high-risk devolved units.
“This way, we ensure that as a county, we have the right focus and are adequately prepared and equipped to handle any cases,” said the governor on March 15.
When such pandemics occur, some government officials find an excuse to embezzle public funds in the name of taking preventive measures, while in reality doing nothing and pocketing the money through their cronies.
Yesterday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe confirmed 7 more cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, as the tally hit 38.