NAIROBI The U.S. government has suspended $21 million in immediate assist to Kenya’s Ministry of Overall health amid concern more than corruption, the embassy explained on Tuesday, offering emphasis to an issue that is a rising liability for the government in advance of August elections.
Aid for HIV medication and other health and fitness programs outside the ministry would carry on, the embassy explained, adding that the United States invests much more than $650 million on health and fitness in Kenya per year.
“We took this action since of ongoing concern about studies of corruption and weak accounting methods at the Ministry,” the assertion from the embassy explained. “We are functioning with the Ministry on methods to improve accounting and interior controls.”
The announcement provides weight to a climbing quantity of scandals plaguing the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is searching for a 2nd and last five-12 months expression in presidential, parliamentary and nearby elections on Aug. eight.
The so-identified as Afya Residence scandal, named after the setting up housing the Ministry of Overall health, was based mostly on an audit report leaked to Kenyan media in Oct.
The audit showed the ministry could not account for five billion Kenyan shillings ($49 million) and resources meant for absolutely free maternity treatment had been diverted, newspapers claimed.
Officials at Kenya’s anti-corruption commission did not return phone calls searching for remark on Tuesday, but the ministry of health and fitness issued a assertion.
“The ministry has been elevating matters elevated in the interior audit investigations next the Quality Assurance audit by the Countrywide Treasury,” the assertion explained.
“Other autonomous institutions … are endeavor impartial investigations.”
Past 12 months, Kenya’s anti-graft chief informed Reuters that a 3rd of its state spending budget – the equal of about $six billion – was lost to corruption each 12 months.
The government disputed the determine, blaming inadequate paperwork. In Oct, Kenyatta infuriated voters by telling them he could not deal with corruption since his “fingers were tied”. He criticized the judiciary and other businesses for not executing much more about the dilemma.
Kenyan health professionals and nurses say the corruption implies that hospitals are often still left with no standard equipment, from medication to gloves. Kenyan health professionals in public hospitals went on strike from December to March, demanding a fork out boost and enhanced functioning situations.
(Modifying by Larry King)