The central government through the ministry of health has forced counties to take up the scandalous mobile clinics that have been rotting in Mombasa since 2015.
This was revealed by health principal secretary Susan Mochache, who said that the ministry had written to the governors asking them to express interest in the containers.
“This is a devolved function and it is up to the counties to operate and run the portable medical containers,” said Ms Mochache, who appeared before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.
However, this raised eyebrows why the central government would purchase equipment for a devolved function, without consulting the drivers of devolution.
Worse still, the containers will be pushed to the counties amid an investigation where taxpayers lost ksh5 billion in the infamous Afya Scandal, one billion having gone to the controversial clinics.
It is thought that the government could have also gagged the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) to clear the containers that were wasting in Mombasa.
Of the 100 containers at the NYS yard in Mombasa, it is reported that only one will be left at the yard to be used in the ongoing case. Having the containers gone to the counties would be a means to justify the ‘useless’ project, since there is no assurance that the containers will be of use in the counties.
The counties have severally complained of being understaffed due to constrained budgets, hence the containers might not have people to run them.
On top of it all, the counties will bear the cost of transporting the containers, which would mean imposing unplanned cost to them.
The containers were procured from M/s Estama Investments Ltd at a cost of Ksh1 billion, despite not being factored in the annual procurement plan for the financial year 2014/15.
This translated to Ksh10 million for each container, an amount that could be used to construct a basic clinic in the rural areas.
So far, it is reported that 33 counties have applied to have the controversial clinics, something that would see the benefactors of the scandal go free.