PS Marwa under fire over COVID-19 emergency fund beneficiaries list

Devolution Principle Secretary Nelson Marwa is under fire over the KSh1.3 billion beneficiaries’ list meant to cushion the poor during the coronavirus menace in the country.

Concerns were raised by Members of Parliament after the Labour Ministry’s department of Social Protection failed to produce the list of the beneficiaries of the money raised to aid the poor and vulnerable groups in the four counties that were under lockdown.

Marwa held a virtual meeting with the committee on 5 May 2020, telling the MPs that Marwa was not the custodian of the list as should be the case since he is the accounting officer for the fund.

The PS told the legislators the list was with the Interior Ministry.

“We have written to the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination requesting for the list of the beneficiaries and amount paid to each. The list will be submitted to Parliament upon receipt,” he said.

“However, the amount paid per beneficiary is KSh2,000 for every two weeks for the next three months totaling to KSh12,000. The money is being delivered through Safaricom M-Pesa system.”

The committee noted there was conflicting information because the interior CS had told the committee that Marwa was the accounting officer.

“You said you have written to the Interior PS for the names of beneficiaries but when the CS appeared before us, we asked who is the accounting officer, and he said PS Marwa. Is it that you are only there to sign cheques without knowing the real beneficiaries?” Ali Wario, the committee chairman posed.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta introduced lockdown in Nairobi, Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa but announced a safety net programme to cushion the needy.

A multi-agency team had already settled on 108,119 beneficiaries who were to receive KSh2,000 every two weeks for a period of three months.

Meanwhile, Marwa disclosed that the elderly would be forced to wait longer for their universal health cover as there were budgetary constraints in the ministry.

Apparently, the ministry only received KSh600 million against the anticipated KSh6 billion.

“In the absence of getting the required KSh6 billion, it was decided to reallocate this amount to cover some beneficiaries in the programme as part of the KSh3.9 billion budget deficit.”


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