Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Nicholas Muraguri (left) and former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Philip Kinisu. PHOTO | FILE

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Nicholas Muraguri (left) and former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Philip Kinisu. PHOTO | FILE

  • A leaked internal audit report says the theft, which is five times the infamous Sh791 million NYS scandal, also involved payments of millions of shillings to phony suppliers in the financial year (2015/2016).
  • Top on the list of fraudulent transactions identified in the audit report was the diversion of Sh889 million meant to be disbursed to county governments to support the free maternity care programme.
  • The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Nicholas Muraguri, did not deny the existence of the audit report, but dismissed the author as “incapable of understanding how government works.”

Top Ministry of Health officials have stolen more than Sh5 billion in an NYS-style mega corruption scandal involving diversion of funds, double payment for goods, and manipulation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS).

A leaked internal audit report says the theft, which is five times the infamous Sh791 million National Youth Service scandal, also involved payments of millions of shillings to phony suppliers in the financial year (2015/2016).

The auditors say the amounts lost could be higher because they have yet to complete work on the ministry’s transactions for the year.

 

“The small sample covered is an indicator that there could be a wider scheme wherein the ministry incurred huge losses to the detriment of service delivery to the public,” the audit report addressed to Health secretary Cleopa Mailu says.

Top on the list of fraudulent transactions identified in the audit report was the diversion of Sh889 million meant to be disbursed to county governments to support the free maternity care programme and its use in the purchase of phantom mobile medical clinics for urban slums.

 

A large chunk of the money (Sh800 million) was paid to Estama Investment Limited, a company whose owners are not revealed in official records at the Registrar of Companies, to supply 100 portable medical clinics that have yet to be delivered four months after the financial year ended.

Estama was paid the money in three instalments, including Sh400 million on June 27, a transaction for which the payment voucher could not be found during the audit. Even more questionable is the fact that Estama raised a separate purchase order for Sh200 million on June 30 and got paid the same day.

 

Could not explain

Izaq Odongo, the head of curative and rehabilitative services at the ministry and on whose behalf payments for the clinics were signed, said the equipment arrived at the port of Mombasa but has not been distributed a year since being shipped in.

He could not explain the delay or even why the ministry made the full payment before the equipment was delivered.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Nicholas Muraguri, did not deny the existence of the audit report, but dismissed the author as “incapable of understanding how government works,” even as he threatened her with espionage and snooping on her private communication.

 

“I mean, you don’t know government. We can get what you write even before you publish it, including getting print-shots and screenshots of the story. Someone can be reading your messages while sitting here. If there is a need to hack Nation’s system we can. We can even confirm how much money is in your account now,” the PS said when asked to respond to the audit queries.

 

The audit also found that Estama was paid despite not meeting the Kenya Revenue Authority’s requirements on the use of electronic tax register (ETR) receipts, tax compliance and PIN number.

Read More HERE

 

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