The Star (Kenya)

EACC, DCI should bring to book MES cul­prits

- Society · Health Care · Kenya

The 2010 Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides for elab­o­rate rights and free­doms, in­clud­ing the right to the high­est at­tain­able stan­dard of health. Ar­ti­cle 43 (1) says ev­ery Kenyan has the right to health­care.

De­spite this con­sti­tu­tional mile­stone, Kenya re­mains vul­ner­a­ble. Ac­cess to qual­ity health­care re­mains a tall or­der for many cit­i­zens. It’s, there­fore, sad and un­con­scionable that health-re­lated pro­cure­ment has be­come the bas­tion for big money graft in this coun­try.

e pro­cure­ment of Covid-re­lated items is just but an ex­am­ple. But the sad­dest story is the Sh63 bil­lion man­aged equip­ment ser­vices (MES), a pub­lic in­ter­est project that could have rev­o­lu­tionised health­care pro­vi­sion in Kenya. Un­for­tu­nately, it ap­pears to have turned into one of the coun­try’s big­gest scan­dals.

e Se­nate ad hoc com­mit­tee that in­ves­ti­gated the scam has re­turned a harsh ver­dict. It says the project was con­ceived like a crim­i­nal en­ter­prise, shrouded in opaque pro­cure­ment pro­cesses and aimed at ben­e­fit­ing a few com­mer­cial in­ter­ests. is com­mit­tee seems to be spot on. In­ves­ti­gat­ing agen­cies must now jump in and bring to book those who or­ches­trated this grand steal­ing from pub­lic cof­fers.

ere is ev­ery rea­son to pri­ori­tise th­ese in­ves­ti­ga­tions. e amounts in­volved are mind-bog­gling and there is ur­gent need to clean the rot in the health sec­tor.

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