Senators demand answers on medical equipment cost disparities

November 27, 2018 4:53 pm
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Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the initial contract indicated Sh3.6 billion , but according to the documents tabled before Senators the figure had fluctuated between Sh4.5 billion to Sh6.1 billion and it currently stands at Sh9.4 billion/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27- Senators have raised concerns over disparity in the actual money the National Government is expected to pay to the companies supplying Medical Equipment services to county governments.

Appearing before Senators , Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the initial contract indicated Sh3.6 billion , but according to the documents tabled before Senators the figure had fluctuated between Sh4.5 billion to Sh6.1 billion and it currently stands at Sh9.4 billion.

She tried to justify the disparity using the exchange rate saying the government is paying in dollars and the rate has changed as US dollar has strengthened over the past 4 years an explanation that did not go well with senators.

“We are being misled here, if you negotiate for something and agree on the amount, it does not change no matter which currency you use. The fact is the amount you agreed on remains. Who said the figure was to change based on  exchange rate ?”Nairobi Senator Jonson Sakaja questioned.

His sentiments were echoed by Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang’ who criticized the ministry for omitting important information from the documents that were submitted to the Senate.

“We must agree because that is a very fundamental philosophical position because if the ministry maintains that position, they are basically telling us it is none of our business. If they stick to that then Mr chair let them go out, we do not have anything else to do here,” Kajwang’ said.

Senators Ledama Ole Kina (Narok) and Moses Wetangula (Bungoma)  further faulted the National government and the Ministry of Health for allegedly supplying medical equipment to the counties without consulting the county governments on what they needed.

“Did you not consult the county governments to do proper due diligence?  so that you do not  use public funds to supply equipment without really understanding what equipment they needed, which were not working and ensure tax payers money is used prudently,” Ole Kina said.

After a back and forth debate between the Senators, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen who was chairing the meeting on Tuesday, ordered the ministry to  submit proper documents showing the date, cost and status of all the medical equipment delivered to all 47 counties.

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