Probe health cash scam, charge culprits, says CoG
‘We’ve on many occasions questioned the whereabouts of the money for maternity and other programmes. Now we know where it has been taken’
The Council of Governors has called for speedy and thorough investigation of the alleged theft of Sh5.3billion in the Health ministry.
Chairman and Meru Governor Peter Munya said detectives must ensure those culpable in the misappropriation of public funds are arrested and charged.
He expressed outrage over the scandal in which one in every Sh5 meant to buy basic medicines to save patients’ lives ended up in individual bank accounts. “We have on many occasions questioned the whereabouts of the money for maternity and other programmes. Now we know where it has been taken,” he said.
Munya said the county Health dockets are starved of funds and cannot provide services to the people, yet a few individuals are looting public resources. He said one of maternity programme is adversely affected because some people divert money meant for it to fictitious suppliers.
“This is against the Public Financial Management Act and anybody mentioned in such a mega scandal must face the full force of the law,” Munya said. He was accompanied by governors Jack Ranguma (Kisumu) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), who echoed his position. He spoke when he took the devolution torch to Kisumu county.
Munya said the scandal shows the counties are being starved deliberately to create room for looting. He accused the national government of unfair sharing of funds meant for health because the docket is devolved.
Munya said 90 per cent of health services are devolved, but only Sh45 billion is released to the counties, while more than Sh50 billion is allocated to the Health ministry, yet it only provides 10 per cent of services.
“The national government retains more money, yet its services are fewer than those of the county governments,” he said. He questioned how the national government, which handles four hospitals only, is allocated such sums of money.
Acknowledging the transformation in the health sector since the inception of devolution, Munya urged Parliament to increase health allocations to the counties to support effective service delivery. He wants health functions fully devolved.