NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu and his embattled Permanent Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri have dismissed calls for their resignation over the alleged misappropriation of Sh5 billion at Afya House.
In their first press conference since the matter was exposed by the Business Daily, Mailu who was accompanied by Muraguri called for patience to enable investigators from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission complete their work.
The CS who spoke shortly after Muraguri had issued a letter addressed to the Kenya Union of Journalists apologising for threats he made to a Business Daily journalist who reported on the alleged misappropriation, said he and Muraguri will stay put at the ministry pending the conclusion of the audit report.
The CS who admitted of the existence of the audit report however said that officials at the ministry were yet to respond to audit queries raised by the internal auditor promising to take action against those found liable for diverting public funds.
According to Mailu, the internal audit which was sanctioned by the ministry in a bid to ensure compliance with procedures stipulated in the Public Finance Management Act.
Mailu however pointed out that the ministry followed the right procedures in spending the supplementary estimates for the financial year 2015/16.
“The supplementary estimates requested in the amount of Sh865,795,750 were approved and appropriated as provided for by the Public Finance Management Act, and other relevant laws,” asserted Mailu.
The CS pointed out that part of the monies under the supplementary estimates for the year 2015/16 went expanding health services.
“Sh100 million went to Lamu County to expand health services at the King Fahd Hospital; as we speak today, the new building has been roofed,” noted Mailu. “Another Sh100 million went to Bungoma County to refurbish Bungoma Level IV Hospital to expand its maternity unit.”
The CS said his ministry will fully cooperate with investigators and will respond to all queries raised in the audit report that exposed massive misappropriation of funds at the ministry involving illegal payments to shady firms linked to influential government officials and businessmen.
Promising to give a progress report in the course of next week without prejudice to the ongoing probe, Mailu said action will be taken against those found liable of misappropriating funds once audit queries are dispensed with.
“We require deeper interrogation so that even if it is taking action against any officer – that can stand,” affirmed Mailu.
EACC detectives led by Deputy CEO Michael Mubea were at the ministry earlier in the day seeking for crucial documents to aid their investigations.