Human Rights Watch: Kenya Mismanaged COVID Cash Program for the Poor !

Kenya | Covid | Human Rights | 21st July 2021 | Virtual Wire

A report by Human Rights Watch has accused the government of Kenya of embezzling funds intended to help the poor cushion the adverse effects of COVID 19.

The advocacy group found out that instead of the money assisting the needy it instead was used and managed by the rich greedy politicians and government officials.

In May 2020, the President of Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the Treasury to release $100 million to support the country’s most vulnerable people for at least eight months.

Otieno Namwaya, who is the head of Human Rights Watch in East Africa, said the money was not used for its intended purpose.

Researchers found that other than not being used appropriately, the cash program lacked transparency from the registration process to the distribution of funds. A report released by the Office of the Auditor-General in April 2021 said that some $4 million was dispersed to help nearly 100,000 Kenyans in a poor section of Nairobi for one month.

But the investigators said they could not verify the identities and addresses of more than 97,000 alleged recipients. Their report concluded, “the lawfulness and utilization of the $4 million could not be confirmed.”

Namwaya who is the head of human rights watch explained that most of the money went to families and allies of officials and the employees of certain government agencies.

Human Rights Watch is calling on Kenyan authorities to investigate the issue and extensively review mechanisms for implementing such programs in the future.

Human rights watch is also calling for a design to help in a social security program that would guarantee everyone, not just a few, an adequate standard of living during the pandemic, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

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