STATEMENT BY RT. HON RAILA ODINGA, EGH ON SH5 BILLION HEALTH MINISTRY SCAM:
THIS HEALTH SCAM IS THE PRESIDENT’S SCAM:
Just last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed himself to the people of Kenya and told them that he had done everything in his power to fight the scourge of corruption in the country.
The President said the reason we are not seeing any progress in this fight is because Independent Constitutional offices and Commissions entrusted with various powers to tackle corruption had failed to deliver on their mandate.
Kenyans have barely come to terms with the abdication of authority by the President when we now have to deal with a new scandal, the loss of KSH. 5.3 billion at the Ministry of Health.
The details of the KSH5.3 billion scandal are beginning to raise doubts on the President’s innocence in what is happening around him with regard to theft of public funds.
It is now emerging that one of the companies mentioned…ESTAMA LTD…which was paid to supply 100 container clinics at KSH1 million each, and which has never been supplied, is associated with people in the Presidency, much as the government is working hard to deny that.
Another company is associated with President Kenyatta’s immediate family members. Yet another is associated with his close friends and confidantes.
Sandales International Ltd, which was paid KSH41 million, features Kathleen Kihanya, Nyokabi Muthama and Samson Kamiri.
Life Care Medics, which earned KSH 201 million, is associated with Richard Ngatia and Paul Ndungu. The President cannot claim to know nothing about these individuals. And Kenyans know who these people are to the President.
We are getting a feeling that President Uhuru Kenyatta is not as innocent as he has tried to portray himself to the public in the massive theft crippling the country.
Is it conceivable that, for a government that is now openly boasting that it can read people’s computers and bank accounts remotely, did not know that key members of his administration, friends and kins were involved in corrupt business at the Ministry of Health, touching on a program in which he has shown direct personal interest like maternal health.
This scandal is President Kenyatta’s scandal. He must deal with it as such. He must tell the country what he knows, when he knew it and what he did when he knew it.
This scam is a continuation of what started with the NYS scandal where, again, family members and close confidantes of the President were implicated as direct beneficiaries in the theft from the youth of Kenya. Kenyans will recall that the president came out strongly to defend the Ministry of Devolution and the NYS deals long before they were investigated and proved to be scandals that they now officially are.
Is the President silent on this and the many other thefts in the country because of this conflicted position? Is he giving up on the war of corruption because it has now entered his own inner sanctum? We have reason to believe so.
While the country has recorded significant gains in infant mortality, malaria deaths, under- five mortality and life expectancy in the last few years, we have not made significant progress in maternal health.
That is what makes this latest theft as heartless as any can be.
It touches not only one area that is critical to our well-being as a nation but also where we have been doing badly.
It appears to be by design. Jubilee has refused to devolve the funds and has had hospitals under county governments to undertake treatment then be reimbursed. That reimbursement has been irregular, little and sometimes not paid at all.
All along, Jubilee stuck to this program under the guise that it is a significant matter that needed the direct attention of the National Government and with a close supervision of the presidency. It is now clear that Jubilee hang on to this simply as an opportunity to steal from Kenyans.
This latest scam is a scorched earth war on the most vulnerable in our population; mothers on the verge of giving birth and babies just delivered or about to be delivered. The President cannot run away from this scam.