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
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.
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