, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – Suspended National Hospital Security Fund (NHIF) CEO Geoffrey Mwangi has been released on a Sh2 million cash bail after denying a role in irregular procurement procedures that may have resulted to a loss of Sh 1.1 billion.
Mwangi was among 20 persons who faced fraud and abuse of office charges on Monday when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti at the Milimani Law Courts.
Former NHIF CEO Simeon Ole Kirgotty was given similar terms pending the mention of the case on January 29.
Others charged alongside Mwangi and Kirgotty were Mudzo Nzili, Ruth Sudoi, Pamela Nyaboke, Joseph Mutinda, David Muli, Irene Jepng’etich, Jacinta Nyakio, Gilbert Gathuo, Kennedy Arthur, Fredrick Sagwe, Millicent Wangui, Matilda Mwangemi, Darius Philip, Yussuf Ibrahim, Elly Nyaim, Danson Muchemi, and Robert Muriithi.
The 17 were given bail terms ranging from Sh 300,000 to Sh1 million with a requirement that they deposit their passports at the court registry.
The court also barred NHIF officials from accessing their offices pending trial, unless ordered otherwise.
However, Jambopay was given access to the NHIF offices after the court was told the revenue system it manages would collapse if the firm was barred.
Mwangi and Kirgotty denied violating Sections 45 and 48(1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act by improperly conferring payments amounting to Sh 49.5 million to Webtribe Company Limited on December 19, 2014.
The DPP told the court the actions of Kirgotty and Mwangi, then NHIF General Manager in charge of Finance, amounted to abuse of office.
He faced a similar charge in relation to a Sh 125.8 million payment made in favour of Webtribe Company Limited on February 13, 2018.
In a third count, Mwangi was charged with six others for wilful failure to comply with procurement laws contrary to Sections 45 (2) (b) and 48 (1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act by irregularly awarding a tender for the procurement of an Integrated Revenue Collection System to Webtribe.
He also denied arbitrarily extending a contract for the provision of an Integrated Revenue Collection System at the cost Sh 200.5 million, occasioning the loss of public funds, a charge also faced by Nzili, Ibrahim, and Nyaim.
Mwangi was also charged with wilful failure to comply with the law by approving payments amounting to Sh 253.9 million to Webtribe Company Limited on July 1, 2017.
An additional charge emanated from a decision he made on June 4, 2014, single sourcing services for the provision of an Integrated Revenue Collection System, at a cost of Sh 495.2 million.
Sudoi, Nyaboke, and Mutinda were listed as co-conspirators in the procurement exercise the public prosecutor said contravened Sections 45 (2) (b) and 48 (1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
The prosecution also indicted Webtribe Limited, and its directors Muchemi and Muriithi, having benefitted from irregular payments totalling Sh 1.1 billion between August 15, 2014 and October 31, 2018.
Jepng’etich, Nyakio, Gathuo, Arthur, and Sagwe – members of the NHIF tender evaluation committee – were charged with the failure to comply with Section 66(2) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act and regulations guiding procurement while evaluating tender bids.