The Auditor-General Mildred Chiri has lashed at government for failing to take care of children living in the street despite having a fund meant for that.
In her 2018 audit report, Chiri said government was failing to cater for street children and this exposed them to abuse and illegal activities.
“Protecting children’s wellbeing requires sufficient resources, planning, implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation. Although Social welfare services have a noble intention of
caring and protecting children in the streets the major constraint is inadequate funding. I observed that Treasury did not avail funds to support this cause,” Chiri said .
“There is need for authorities to avail adequate resources to protect and care for vulnerable children,” she said.
Due to economic hardships faced by the country, urban cities have been flooded by street kids who depend on begging and at times pick pocketing, a feat the Auditor-General said was wrong.
Besides the children on the street fund, government also has a harmonised social cash transfer (HSCT) which is an unconditional transfer of cash entitlements to vulnerable households in order to reduce household poverty, protect and enhance the
livelihood of all vulnerable children so that they refrain from risky coping strategies like child
labour and early marriages.
“During the year under review, Treasury availed $9 759 722 for the
HSCT programme. However, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare did not initiate appropriate measures to ensure that beneficiaries received their pay outs. The funds were later recalled by the Treasury on December 31, 2018 after realizing that no disbursements were
effected by the Ministry. Non disbursement of the funds deprived the beneficiaries of a reasonable standard of life as the monies were meant for the vulnerable groups. This resulted
in non fulfilment of programme objectives,” read part of the report