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Rights defenders demands Covid-19 funds accountability

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[Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Ms Salma Hemed. Photo/Atrash Bwana].

Mombasa based human rights defenders have initiated a social audit exercise to unravel how funds geared towards mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic were utilized.

The activists say the social audit initiative is not aimed at victimizing any authority or the Mombasa county government but to enhance transparency and accountability.

Speaking in Mombasa on Monday, Haki Africa Deputy executive director Ms. Salma Hemed said such efforts will enhance responsible leadership.

Ms. Hemed noted that as human rights Organisation, Haki Africa has registered various complaints from locals concerning various services aimed at combating the further spread of Covid-19.

Risk

“For example, Likoni Sub-county dwellers complained that the county did not initiate any examination and isolation centre at Likoni forcing locals to cross over to the Island thus even risking contracting the virus,” noted Ms Hemed.

She said though the county government did its best, locals feel adequate information about the virus never reached the grassroots level.

“Everyone was in panic over the virus but the county did not immediately equip locals at the grassroots level with relevant information,” noted the human rights defender.

Salma said the information after being analyzed it will be shared to the county government and specifically to Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho in an open forum that will also enable locals to raise their concerns.

Fear

“Though there was a need for an emergency response whenever a suspected case was reported, locals say they were forced to pay for ambulance charges despite many lacking the amount,” she revealed.

Apart from such complaints, residents according to Salma were forcefully quarantined at their own costs which floored the voluntary testing exercise.

She said the Organisation is currently piecing up information before presenting its fact-finding report to authorities.