Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has vowed to deal with “criminals and mad cases” at Afya House involved in several cases of fraud.
Addressing the nation during the daily Covid-19 update from Afya House on Wednesday, Kagwe admitted that officers from the Ministry of Health are under investigation over fake tenders and corruption.
“This building has some very hard working Kenyans…. but this building also has its fair share of criminals and mad cases,” said Kagwe.
The CS said some officials in the sensitive departments like procurement had even refused to be transferred.
“…Just like any other ministries, we have our own share of challenges. The only difference is that we are willing to own them up and, therefore, we are willing to face them head-on, ” he said.
The CS was responding to a question raised by a local journalist over ongoing probe involving a woman, who allegedly obtained Covid -19 testing kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) worth Ksh5 million after forging Ministry of Health tender documents.
Mercy Wanjiku alias Linda Masaka, who appeared in court last week, is suspected to have colluded with procurement officials at the ministry’s headquarters where she signed invoices after the company handed over the equipment to her associates who are at large.
It is alleged that the suspect used a forged notification letter for supply of PPEs worth Ksh37.5 million to an agent of Rocketway Construction Limited Company purporting it to be a notification for the award of a tender to supply the protective gear on May 5.
Reports by Nation indicate that Wanjiku had approached the company’s agent claiming to have won a tender to supply the PPEs including 1,000 pieces of non-contact infrared thermometers worth Ksh18. 5 million and 20,000 pieces of non-powered hand gloves worth Ksh19 million.
Using her connections Wanjiku ensures delivery invoices were signed at Afya House confirming the whole consignment had been received as per the notification letter.
The company’s director Bishar Yunis Bora and a business partner identified as Ibrahim Adan would later be told that the tender was not genuine after visiting Afya House on May 18 to demand payments.
They reported the matter to the police who later arrested Wanjiku. The suspect is out on Ksh200,000 bond.
Afya house was also on the spot recently over the expenditure of Covid-19 funds.
The ministry was put on the spot over the expenditure of KShh1 billion donated by World Bank towards the battle against COVID-19.
Kenyans sought answers after reports that the ministry spent Ksh4 million on tea and snacks.
Kagwe dismissed the embezzlement of funds claims. He, however, assured Kenyans that he will not hesitate to punish any officer in his ministry found to be engaging in fraud.