Mailu to face Senate Health Committee over Sh3.2bn queries at Afya House
Committee chairman Wilfred Machage says they cannot comment on the matter based on media reports. Says team needs to get the facts right
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu will appear before the Senate Committee on Health tomorrow over the alleged misappropriation of Sh3.2 billion at Afya House.
Committee chairman Wilfred Machage on Friday said they have summoned Mailu to answer questions over possible fraud. He was speaking at the Flamingo Hotel in Mombasa.
The story was broken by the Business Daily two weeks ago.
The Jubilee government is grappling with a number of corruption cases, in which Kenyans have lost billions of shillings, among them the National Youth Service saga, where Sh1.6 billion is said to have been stolen by unscrupulous businesspeople.
Former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and businesswoman Josephine Kabura were questioned last week by the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee over the theft.
Machage urged Kenyans to be patient and let agencies assigned to in- vestigate the allegations at the Health ministry finish their work.
He said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Assembly and National Intelligence Service are conducting parallel investigations.
Last Thursday, Mailu was questioned by EACC detectives at Integrity Centre about procurement of goods at the Health ministry.
The EACC also questioned Health PS Nicholas Muraguri about procurement issues exposed by the internal audit at the ministry.
“The Senate cannot comment on this matter based on media reports. We need to get the facts right. So far the only thing we can say is that the CS will appear before the committee on Tuesday,” Machage said.
He said there should be due diligence in handling corruption matters. “What is in the public domain might be factual or not. Let us interrogate the right people to establish if at all money was embezzled,” Machage said.
He said the committee will probe the audit report showing money may have been misappropriated through payments for unapproved projects in the ministry’s supplementary budget.
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro said the matter will be discussed in the Senate in the next 14 days after a report is tabled by the Health Committee.
“Machage and his team have assured us that in the next 14 days there will give us a conclusive report on that matter so that the issue can be discussed before the House,” he said.
Deputy President William Ruto has said the Jubilee government faces unfair criticism over the possible loss of funds at the ministry.
Speaking in Trans Nzoia county on Saturday, he said owners of companies mentioned in the audit report have a right to carry out legitimate transactions so they should not be condemned unfairly.
Ruto said the audit report was initiated by the government because it does not support corruption.
He said the question should be the legality of the business the companies transacted, not why they involved themselves in the business.
The DP said those found culpable will face the law.
THE EACC HAS QUESTIONED MAILU AND PS NICHOLAS MURAGURI
Mombasa Health chief officer Khadijah Shikely, Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro and Senate Health Committee chairman Wilfred Machage at the Flamingo Hotel in Mombasa on Friday