The government is staring at a loss of Ksh1 billion in the controversial mobile clinics, that are reported to be rotting at the Miritini National Youth Service (NYS) yard in Mombasa.
The government entered into a contract with Estama Investment Clinic to supply the 100 clinics at the price of Ksh1 billion.
Ksh800 million was paid to the supplier as a down payment, even before the containers were supplied.
According to sources, the project was meant to benefit a member of the Kenyatta family, who is linked to Estama Investment Ltd, and has since refused to transport the containers from Mombasa to their respective destinations.
This writer learns that the project was set to be implemented in the informal settlement areas, but at the time of execution the Ministry of Health had not identified the places where the containers would be installed.
The contract agreement between the government and the supplier has been kept under wraps, even as top ministry officials lobby to have the remaining Ksh200 million paid to the supplier.
As if that is not enough, the officials are seeking additional Ksh200 million to transport the clinics from Mombasa to their destinations, a job that was supposed to be done by the supplier.
At the time of going to press, Kahawa Tungu learnt that a good number of the clinics had been vandalised, while others have rusted and can no longer be used. Most of the equipment therein have been stolen, making the whole project a lame duck.
Members of the National Assembly health committee led by vice chairperson Swarup Mishra went to inspect the containers, but were allegedly denied contract documents by the ministry.
The project became shaky in 2016, when the Ksh5 billion Afya Scandal was unearthed. The mobile clinic scandal was part of the bigger scandal, which raised more questions than answers.
Under normal circumstances, the government would construct permanent structures for hospitals and clinics, which would have been done under a lesser cost. Also, health is a devolved function, and it still raises eyebrows why the project was executed through the national government.
The project was also doomed to fail, since there lacked enough medical personnel to attend to patients in the mobile clinics.
The chairperson of the health committee Rachael Kaki Nyamai exempted herself from the inspection. At the time of responding to questions, Ms Kaki admitted that she was not in a position to answer some questions by members of parliament and journalists, handing over leadership temporarily to Taveta MP Naomi Shabaan.
It is reported that Kaki gave the project a clean bill of health, despite the several questions raised by MPs and members of the public.
The committee even went ahead to say that their only mission was to find out whether the clinics existed, and was not worried about the flouted procurement rules.
Currently the project remains a white elephant where cartels could have benefited with over Ksh800 billion, and seeking more.
The project was initially meant to bolster maternal health in the informal settlements, but the aim might never be realised.