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Nairobi County on the spot, again, over Sh1.7bn insurance cover

Nairobi County Government headquarters. /CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16- The Sh1.7 billion AAR insurance cover for Nairobi County employees has once again been put on the spot, with the Auditor General’s report revealing that the County paid more than Sh652 million in excess of the medical scheme’s contract.

“Although the total payment made so far to AAR insurance Kenya Limited is Sh1.7 billion, no explanation has been given for paying Sh652,786,602 in excess of the contract sum of Sh1.07 billion,” reads part the report.

On Monday, journalists were barred from covering the proceedings of the County’s Public Account’s Committee session, where former County Secretary Leboo ole Morintat who allowed the payment of the money was to be grilled.

The request was however, opposed by most of the opposition MCAs who were present during the session.

“This is a matter of public interest I don’t understand why the press should be barred from covering,” said Minority Whip Peter Imwatok.

Despite the protest, the Chair of the Committee Wilfred Odalo ruled in favour of Leboo and excluded journalists from the meeting.

This is the second time Leboo has asked the meeting to be held in camera.

What raised eyebrows further is that PAC members from the ruling Jubilee side were conspicuously missing during the sitting, with some sources saying that they had been warned by their leadership not to attend the grilling or else they be de-whipped from committees.

Others who are being questioned include former Head of Finance Stephen Mutua, former Procurement chief Patrick Mwangangi, former Chief Officer in charge of Finance Ekaya Alumasi among others who served in the previous administration.

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The Auditor General’s report up to July 2018 shows that despite the County parting with the huge sum to cater for insurance cover for its employees, there was no value for money.

Also being questioned is unexplained growth in value of the insurance cover, even though there was a decrease in the number of staff by 402 during the year under review.

In February this year, Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu moved a motion on the floor of the chamber prompting Governor Mike Sonko to reconsider the deal with the firm and instead channel the funds to building capacity of county health facilities.

Mutheu argued that despite the County parting with Sh1 billion annually to cater for 12,000 employees, they were receiving average medical cover.

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