Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga now says that the party will not protect those found culpable of embezzling Covid-19 funds.
In a statement, Raila, however, said that audits must be done first to ascertain the allegations, saying that none of the “social media noise makers” have evidence of any embezzlement.
“The position of the party in the current allegations of corruption in COVID-19 related resources is that the government needs to conduct a thorough and urgent audit of all the funds that have been put at the disposal of various state agencies, departments and ministries to fight the pandemic with a view to establishing the facts on usage of such resources,” said Raila.
“As matters stand now, none of the people taking to the podium or social media to condemn theft of funds has any evidence. The so-called condemnations of theft could well be part of a cover-up.”
This comes two days after the party received a backlash of its statement from the public after the party secretary general Edwin Sifuna insinuated that no funds had been stolen.
“We wonder how this can be so before a credible audit by the Auditor General is carried out to ascertain the veracity of these claims. A precedent has been set before, where the media goes on a sensationalist extravaganza, with half baked information obtained from shadowy sources, ending up creating more problems than solutions,” said Sifuna.
Investigative reports by NTV indicated that the state had lost at least Ksh43 billion of donor funds meant for Covid-19, something ODM disputed through Sifuna.
“ODM wants a speedy professional audit that can lead to prosecution instead of a political shouting match that creates more confusion and end up clouding the issues and even covering up for the thieves. ODM will not defend anyone, including members or relatives and friends of its officials, found to have benefited from funds and other resources meant for fighting the coronavirus pandemic,” added Raila.
Over the weekend, Deputy President William Ruto termed ODM leaders the “Lords of Corruption”, following Sifuna’s statement that seemed to suggest that no funds had been stolen.
“The pretentious (former)Opposition, now turned Lords of corruption, attempted defence of the Covid19 grand larceny is NOT shocking. It confirms the worst of Kenyan’s fears that their side of handshake was never interested in the people’s good but opportunity to loot.What a shame,” wrote Ruto.