Senegal’s anti-covid funds have been subject to "mismanagement and criminal offences" according to a report by Senegal's Court of Auditors.
The Court of Auditors is asking the Senegalese Ministry of Justice to open a judicial investigation against at least ten people, including officials from the ministries involved in the management of the anti-covid 19 fund, in its report.
The audit of the Court of Accounts of Senegal concerns the expenditures made in 2020 and 2021 on the "Response Fund against the effects of Covid-19" amounting to more than 740 billion CFA francs (more than 1.1 billion euros), financed by donors and the state, according to this report published on the website of the audit institution attached to the Presidency of the Republic.
"The total amount of expenditures (made by various ministries and) not related to covid-19 amounts to 19,727,096,727 CFA francs" (about 30 million euros), the document says.
The Court of Auditors said it found, for example, an "overbilling" of more than 2.7 billion CFA francs (4 million euros) on the price of rice purchased and distributed to the poorest populations in a context of confinement, and several defects in "supporting documents" for expenditures.
It also noted "a cash payment to suppliers in the amount of 2.5 billion CFA francs" (3.8 million euros), while the texts require the payment of state expenses by check or bank or postal transfer.
"The analysis of aid and assistance" to families shows that "people with the same first and last names, with identical identity card numbers and sometimes the same addresses, received aid several times for different amounts.
The fund, set up by President Macky Sall, was intended to strengthen the country's health system, support households, the diaspora and private companies, and maintain an adequate supply of medical, pharmaceutical and basic products.
Many officials in sub-Saharan Africa are suspected of misappropriating or mismanaging funds dedicated to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, including in Cameroon, Guinea and South Africa.