The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commissions (EACC) detectives have initiated a probe over suspect bulk vouchers used in Vihiga county Covid-19 response funds leading into millions of shillings vanishing.
The Vihiga government had allocated over Sh20 million from its contingency fund to be used for emergency response in the county, money that has since been pocketed by cartels ghosts in the county.
The EACC is also following the whereabouts of 300 beds procured by the Vihiga County government. Governor Wilbur Ottichilo Vihiga county has only bought 180 beds which are for Keveye TTI.
The detectives stormed the County offices demanding the vouchers used in spending the Covid-19 funds, however, the important cash documents were not readily available.
Ottichilo who is the chairman of Vihiga county Covid-19 response committee with county commissioner Ochilo Oyugi, his deputy are now on the spot for pocketing the Covid-19 funds by faking the expenditures.
Investigations reveal that via the help of Rebecca Esolio, a purported nurse at Vihiga County Referral Hospital, vouchers running into millions of shillings on activities that did not take place were signed
On April 2, 2020, Esolio received Sh600,000 which she said was used to sensitize the health workers on Covid-19. On the same April 2, 2020, she also received Sh436,350 to sensitize health workers on Covid-19. On April 9, 2020, Esolio received Sh800,000 also to sensitize health staff on Covid-19, a programme that never took place.
On April 17 2020 the same Esolio received Sh800,000. On the same day, Esolio went back to the county coffers and left with Sh400,000 to train health workers. Surprisingly, no health worker was paid this amount received by Miss Esolio but their names were used to sign out lunch and transport.
Also on the spot is the alleged loss of millions of shillings that were spent on media coverage, According to the vouchers, one Victor Wetende who is the director of communication in Ottichilo’s office on March 31, 2020, received a voucher of Sh225,000 on media coverage, on April 4, 2020, Wetende received another voucher worth Sh605,000 on media coverage, on the same day, he, yet again, signed a voucher for of 454,350 on media coverage. He also received Sh194,100 shillings on the same.
No media house received the money. County Health minister Amos Kutwa is alleged to have received Sh45,060 to attend a ghost Covid-19 meeting in Nairobi on April 8, 2020.
The County assembly committee on health chaired by Tambua ward MCA Karega Mboku had grilled the health CECM Amos Kutwa and acting medical services chief officer counterpart Richard Boiyo over the expenditure of Sh28 million.
“We invited the health CECM Amos Kutwa with his acting medical services chief officer Richard Boiyo to come and explain how they spent the funds allocated to the county Covid19 response committee after receiving an outcry on the misuse of the cash. They have failed to give us the satisfying expenditure accountability forcing the committee to ask them to come back next week with a proper report,” said Mboku.
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