NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – Sundales International Ltd, one of the firms linked to the Sh5 billion Ministry of Health scandal has defended itself against allegations that it won tenders unfairly.
The firm’s Managing Director Kathleen Kihanya on Saturday told journalists that her company followed the right procedures and legally transacted business with the Ministry of Health, contrary to accusations by CORD leader Raila Odinga and others in the Opposition who claimed it was favoured.
“Yesterday Mr. Odinga held a press conference in which he accused Sundales International Ltd of being party to illicit commercial dealings with the Ministry of Health. These defamatory allegations were grievous to directors of Sundales International Ltd and to the employees who work hard every day to feed their families,” she asserted at a press conference during which she declined to respond to questions from journalists after reading out a statement.
She said, like any other organisation, her company competitively won a tender of Sh41 million to supply emergency nutrition commodities which were delivered in accordance with the provisions of the tender.
According to Kihanya, the tender was issued by the Ministry of Health in November 2015 and her company submitted its application.
“The commodities were subsequently delivered in accordance with our contractual agreements and payments were thereafter made to Sundales International Ltd,” she said.
She accused Odinga of dragging her company to the alleged scandal at the Ministry of Health for personal political benefits, while insisting that her company “like the rest of Kenyans had a right ‘to do business.”
“For someone to cast doubt on our integrity for unnecessary political mileage and exciting the public on false allegations is totally unacceptable especially when it is a person of Raila’s standing,” she said.
An internal audit prepared for the Auditor-General indicated that the Ministry of Health could have lost Sh5 billion through dubious deals with various companies—including those paid even before supplies were done.
The audit covered 2015/16 financial year.
Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu and his Permanent Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri have dismissed calls to resign to pave way for investigations, even as detectives from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) moved in on Friday.