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Leaked audio recording adds twist to NHIF saga

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – The controversy surrounding the Sh4.3 billion civil servants scheme continues to unfold with the leakage of an audio recording of an alleged phone conversation between suspended CEO Richard Kerich and a private sector representative.

In the conversation, the private sector representative is heard trying to convince Kerich to cede ground of offering outpatient cover and instead stick with the inpatient scheme.

He tells Kerich that the private sector could offer twice the Sh6 billion amount NHIF is currently collecting with the inpatient scheme, if the Fund abandoned the outpatient scheme.

“We need to discuss including your newly found friend called Atwoli and FKE (Federation of Kenya Employers) and don’t give him (Atwoli) a lot,” Kerich is heard saying in jest.

“He is a nice person. Imagine COTU is a board member with you and they are the same people who have taken you to court,” the private sector representative responds amidst laughter.

“You know it depends with what you dangle out there,” Kerich interjects.

Listen to the audio clip here.KERICH LEAKED AUDIO

Capital FM News independently established that the voice in the audio recording is that of Kerich but could not establish the authenticity of the other person who is claimed to be from the private sector.

Bunge la Mwananchi Coordinator Bradley Ouna who made available the audio recording now wants the Central Organisation of Trade Unions and the Federation of Kenya Employers removed from the caretaker board terming them interested parties.

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“The problems at NHIF are more than meets the eye. We have come to put our demands because we have sent a letter to the parliamentary committee on health to give a presentation of my case but we are yet to get a response,” he said at a press conference.

“I have done a research on how that scheme works and I have seen that it can work very well the problem is interference,” he adds.

A caretaker board for the NHIF was appointed three weeks ago to take over for three months following a scandal over allocation of the funds to accredited hospitals.

The board comprises various Permanent Secretaries and representatives from the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE), the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU), the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), the Kenya Medical Association and the Union of Kenya Civil Servants.

Others in the board are representatives from the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries of State for Public Service, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour.


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