Mungai Gathogo, the man awarded tender to supply 500 hospital beds to the government vied for the Kiambu Senatorial Seat in 2017, it has emerged.
Speaking to a local media outlet, Gathogo confirmed that he vied for the seat, but dropped out in the primaries.
“Yes, its true I vied for the senatorial seat in 2017 but I did not make it to the ballot. As a youth, I was trying it out and things didn’t go well for me, I dropped out at the primaries,” he said.
Gathogo and his colleague Joseph Muhinja were awarded the Ksh32.5 million contract this week after Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) Secretary Andrew Wakahiu and Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga visited them in their workshop.
However, there was rage online by Kenyans, who felt that the originally known innovator, Meshack Otieno, had been left out.
It later emerged that Gathogo had been in the business for only two weeks, and that he might have been favoured by the President’s men.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the State to procure 500 locally manufactured beds from the youthful Jua Kali innovators, whose works were first shared online by renowned blogger Robert Alai.
Meshack Otieno, a Juja based welder, is making these hospital beds you can buy from him. His number is +254 712 822793. Email: email@example.com pic.twitter.com/BezuPZRNhd
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) July 11, 2020
Unlike Gathogo who was two weeks old in the business, Otieno disclosed to Kahawa Tungu that he first made such beds in 2018. He had been contracted by a hospital in Murang’a county to help them equip its wards.
Gathogo is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate, who engages welders in Kiambu county to make the beds.
Through an interview, the Pioneer International University graduate said that he saw an opportunity in locally made hospital beds and grabbed it. He usually gets materials and directs the welders on bed specifications according to client needs.