MPs want chair­men out for ‘hin­der­ing’ Afya House probe

Some mem­bers ac­cuse them of pro­tect­ing Health CS and PS from accounting for the al­leged Sh5.2 bil­lion loss at the min­istry. A meet­ing yes­ter­day was can­celled via SMS

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Parliament - SAMUEL KISIKA @KisikaSam

Two Ju­bilee MPs head­ing a Health par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee risk be­ing re­moved over claims of “frus­trat­ing” the in­quiry into the al­leged Sh5.2 bil­lion loss in the Health min­istry.

An in­terim in­ter­nal au­dit re­port in­di­cated that Sh5.2 bil­lion was un­ac­counted for. How­ever, CS Cleopa Mailu has said the amount in ques­tion is Sh3.2 bil­lion and it was prop­erly used.

The Na­tional Assem­bly com­mit­tee has ini­ti­ated the process of re­mov­ing chair­per­son Rachael Nya­mae (Ki­tui South) and vice chair­per­son Robert Pukose (En­debess) through a pe­ti­tion, re­port­edly sup­ported by 20 out of 29 mem­bers.

PRO­TECT­ING CS AND PS

Mem­bers are un­happy with Nya­mae’s ‘un­be­com­ing man­ner of lead­er­ship’, al­leg­ing that she has been shield­ing Mailu and PS Ni­cholas Muraguri from accounting for the loss.

The di­vi­sion be­tween the com­mit­tee lead­er­ship and mem­bers was ev­i­dent over last week­end, when MPs toured the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice site at Mir­i­tini, Mom­basa, to in­spect the 99 con­tainer clin­ics worth Sh1 bil­lion for the Slum Up­grad­ing Pro­gramme.

Nya­mae and one MP gave the con­tain­ers, cost­ing Sh10 mil­lion each, a clean bill of health. How­ever, some mem­bers dif­fered with the de­ci­sion ar­gu­ing that the prices are out­ra­geous.

The com­mit­tee was to meet yes­ter­day but the meet­ing was called off in­def­i­nitely through text mes­sage and What­sApp, a move that an­gered the mem­bers more. They said such meet­ings are nor­mally post­poned when MPs have con­vened and ad­e­quate rea­sons for their can­cel­la­tion given.

PE­TI­TION TO SACK CHAIR­PER­SON

“I know why this has hap­pened. There is an ouster pe­ti­tion against the chair and the vice chair be­cause of is­sues that have been go­ing on in the Min­istry of Health. I be­lieve this is one of the gim­micks be­ing used by the Ju­bilee gov­ern­ment for cover up of graft,” Matun­gulu MP Stephen Mule said.

He said mem­bers want the com­mit- tee’s lead­er­ship changed so they can get to the bot­tom of the al­leged miss­ing money at the Health min­istry.

“I saw the ouster pe­ti­tion yes­ter­day. I per­son­ally signed it as num­ber 16 and by evening it had 20 sig­na­tures against 29 mem­bers. We want new lead­er­ship, which is sober,” Mule said.

He and Ti­ga­nia West MP David Karithi con­firmed that there is in­tense lob­by­ing by Ju­bilee for their mem­bers to with­draw their sig­na­tures.

Pukose de­nied knowl­edge of the ouster pe­ti­tion but said mem­bers have a right to come up with one.

“There are rules that guide the process. It could be a case of cor­rup­tion fight­ing back, be­cause as a com­mit­tee we are com­mit­ted to get­ting to the bot­tom of the Afya House mat­ter,” he said.

/JACK OWUOR

Health CS Cleopa Mailu and PS Ni­cholas Muraguri ap­pear be­fore the Na­tional Assem­bly Health Com­mit­tee on No­vem­ber 10 over the al­leged Sh5.2 bil­lion loss

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