Governor Cornel Rasanga taken to task over use of Covid-19 funds

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga. [File, Standard]

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga is in a spot for allegedly spending more money, from the county emergency fund, than had been budgeted for in the fight against Covid-19.

In a virtual meeting with the Senate Standing Committee on Health on Tuesday, Mr Rasanga was hard-pressed to explain where he got Sh115 million for Covid-19 related activities yet the money allocated to the county emergency fund was Sh100 million.

The Auditor General’s special audit report on utilisation of Covid-19 funds by counties, flagged over-expenditure from the county emergency fund in Siaya.

“It was established that as of July 31, 2020, Sh115,884,928 had been committed for Covid-19-related activities, which was against the approved budget allocated to the county emergency fund for Covid-19 purposes,” read the statement in part. But the governor said the county only spent Sh100 million and not Sh115 million as the special audit report indicated.

“There may be an error but I can confirm that we did not spend more than Sh100 million. I can confirm that all commitments were charged within the funds. There was no over expenditure,” Rasanga told the committee. The Auditor General defended the report, saying there was proof of payment vouchers amounting to Sh115 million.

The committee questioned the conflicting information from the county and AG. “So where did the Auditor General get the findings if the governor is insisting that the amount used was Sh100 million? Did the report come from the sky?” posed Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina.

The committee chair, Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, gave Rasanga one week to provide evidence that he did not spend more than Sh100 million.

Siaya appropriated Sh270 million in respect to Covid-19 and related emergencies out of which Sh100 million was from the county emergency fund with the county receiving Sh60 million on July 3 and another Sh40 million on July 14.

Rasanga was also faulted for not spending Sh30 million Kenya Devolution Support Programme and Sh97 million government conditional grants in good time.  

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