2 August 2012

Kenya: Raila Suspends Two Boards of the Disabled

PRIME Minister Raila Odinga yesterday suspended the National Council for Persons with Disability and the National Development Fund for the Disabled boards following claims of massive misappropriation of funds. This was after an uproar from people living with disablilities, who accused the members of the boards of embezzling Sh1.8 billion. Raila at the same time ordered the Efficiency Monitoring Unit to do a forensic audit of the two organisations to determine the extent of the claims, and report to him in two weeks' time.

Earlier, the disabled persons had taken to the streets protesting their continued suffering and unbearable pains due to alleged underhand dealings by their bosses. Led by the Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped, Disabled Voters of Kenya Alliance and the Central Region Deaf Network, the disabled persons blamed alleged corruption syndicates at the boards.

They presented a petition to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, challenging it to prosecute those earmarked to be directly involved in "this deceit and corruption in the disability sector in Kenya". They called for immediate investigation and audit of their organizations' accounts to help trace the missing funds that are normally availed by government and donors to cushion persons with disabilities from economic hardships. "Anyone found to have misappropriated money from the two organizations will face the full force of the law," Odinga said, and regretted the continued pocketing of funds meant for projects into people's personal accounts.

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