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Health CS stumbles through MPs questions on idle portable clinics

The CS was non-committal on the cost or when the mobile clinics will be deployed to the targeted constituencies/FILE

The CS was non-committal on the cost or when the mobile clinics will be deployed to the targeted constituencies/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 10 – Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu was on Thursday hard-pressed to give the total amount his Ministry expects to use in setting up containers which were components of mobile clinics supplied by a contractor.

This emerged during a sitting of the National Assembly Health Committee which is probing the controversial procurement of 100 fully equipped 40-foot container clinics imported by a contractor which have been lying at the National Youth Service yard at Miritini in Mombasa County, six months after they were sourced from China.

Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu asked the Cabinet Secretary to explain how much the deployment of the mobile medical facilities would cost the taxpayers after an internal audit report at the ministry said the government had lost Sh5 billion in part from the purchase of the mobile medical clinics for urban slums.

“Given that each of this clinics is costing Sh10 million how much is the costing to prepare that grund, wouldn’t it have been more prudent to build, because if the idea of them being mobile has been cancelled out; otherwise if they were they would have been deployed where  the ground is wherever. I am just trying to find out if you think we got value for money here,” Simiyu said.

The CS was however non-committal on the cost or when the mobile clinics will be deployed to the targeted constituencies.

“The financial assessment is being finalised, because we debating with some MPs on the location of the sites. That information will provide all the details because there are some other debates around the right place to locate these clinics. Once this is finalised we will come up with a detailed report.”

The theft of the Sh5 billion was revealed in an internal Ministry audit for the 2015/2016 financial year.

The funds, it is claimed, were stolen in through double payment of goods, diversion of funds, and inordinate manipulation of Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS).

A total of Sh889 million meant for free maternity disbursement to the 47 county governments were diverted to purchase mobile medical clinics for urban slums.

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The contractor was contracted to supply 100 portable medical clinics that have not been delivered months after the close of the financial year.

According to the internal audit report, the company has been paid Sh800 million from the Sh889 million meant to be disbursed to county governments to support free maternity programme.

The money was paid in three installments: Sh400 million on June 27, a transaction for which the payment voucher could not be found during the audit and Sh200 million paid on June 30 after the contracted firm raised a purchase order the same day.

According to the audit report, the contracted company did not meet statutory requirements to be awarded a government contract since it has not met requirements on the use of electronic tax register (ETR) receipts, tax compliance and PIN number.

The audit report further reveals that a company owned by former EACC Chairman Philip Kinisu, Esaki Limited, received Sh150.1 million from the diverted Sh889 million meant for the free maternity programme for counties; Sh 515.7 million was lost through double payment in the National Aids Control, this amount was allegedly used to buy food and rations; Sh 265.7 million of the total amount was paid to Co-op Bank.

The rest of the cash, Sh249.9 was paid out to four suppliers for goods procured and paid for through Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

At the close of 2015/2016 financial year, the ministry had a total of Sh2.4 billion in pending bills attributed to illegal overspending by the Ministry.

IFMIS was manipulated by the some ministry officials to effect payment to two counties and 10 firms, money which was not intended to be paid to them according to the audit report.

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