Mutua’s Government ignored the law in hiring COVID stadium Isolation tents

A past photo of the Machakos Stadium isolation center. (Photo -Courtesy)

The Auditor-General in a special report has pointed out that the procurement of tents for use at Machakos stadium Isolation center did not follow the right procedure. This is contained in a special report by the Auditor General on the utilization of Covid-19 resources by the Alfred Mutua led Machakos County Government.

According to the special report, the county initially hired tents at a cost of 5.8 million from Hamu Ventures. This was according to tender -GMC/MOH/COVID/05/2019-2020.

Section 4 (1) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015 requires the head of procurement of the procuring entity alongside the report of the tender evaluation committee to provide a signed professional opinion to the accounting officer on the proceedings. In the case of the tents hire tender, there is no evidence availed to the auditor that such happened.

The duration of the tent hire at a cost of 5.8 million was not specified in the report. However, a year has elapsed since the two dome tents were hired and set up at the Machakos Kenyatta stadium. A professional opinion by the head of the procuring unit could have informed of which between hiring and an investment in Government own’s tents or more permanaet infrastructure could have been better use of public funds.

Machakos County Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua launched the Isolation and screening center in April 2020. Several Concerns were raised by MCAs and a section of local leaders which included; the question of whether the county assembly had approved the budget for Covid-19 isolation and testing center as no supplementary budget proposal had been presented to the assembly for scrutiny as per the law by the time of the set up.

The leaders also raised concerns over the condition at the Machakos stadium hosting the screening and isolation facility in case it rains. The place they said was also cold, more so at night and in the morning. These conditions they felt could adversely affect the patients.

Transport CAS Wavinya Ndeti took a swipe at Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua over the then newly launched Machakos Isolation and Screening center. According to Wavinya Ndeti, the open stadium would affect the patients due to the cold as Coronavirus patients end to contract pneumonia.

Stakeholders in the sporting industry have also been hard hit by the closure of the stadium which has lasted more than a year as they cannot conduct training or matches at the facility.

Missed our earlier story on Machakos County Government being put on the spot over irregularities in allowances relating to Covid-19, find it here. The Auditor-General also raised concerns on the accountability of donations received by Machakos County in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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