The Nairobi Hospital Board is set to meet on October 27, 2020 in a bid to throw out one of the directors, Mr Robert Shaw, over an article in the Daily Nation that allegedly exposed the Hospital affairs.
In a special notice in our possession, the vice-chairman of the board Dr Chris Bichage ordered for the meeting, accusing Mr Shaw of violating his duty of confidentiality.
“The said Director (Dr Bichage) intends to move a Motion for a Board resolution to censure you for the said conduct, including a resolution to remove you from the office of a Director under Article 45 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company, for violation of your duty of confidentiality as a Director to the company, and the ensuing prejudice to the company,” wrote the chairman of the board Retired Major Dr Irungu Ndirangu.
In his article, Shaw accused the management of having a series of governance issues which drag down its reputation.
“First is the Nairobi Hospital/UN Covid Hospital, which is under construction at the old nursing school across the road from the main hospital. The hospital tender committee initially recommended China Wu Yi due to its much stronger technical capability but the board’s Finance Committee, chaired by Vice-Chair Chris Bichage, advised a different methodology with the curious recommendation of Quest Civil Engineers Ltd, owned by a husband-and-wife couple, Messers Yuehua Bai and Ella Quia. The project was to take five weeks but we are in Week 12,” wrote Shaw.
In the article, Shaw revealed that the hospital had spent at least Ksh59.5 million on the project that is yet to be completed.
Mr Shaw also accused the chairman Dr Ndirangu of conflict of interest in two contracts relating to audit of the hospital awarded to Natconsult.
Shaw also revealed that Mr Michael Chomba always copied the chairman, Dr Ndirangu, in all correspondences regarding contracts awarded to a company named Grant Thornton.
He further revealed that towards the end of March, Mr Ndirangu forwarded to the management a report by Opticom (K) Ltd entitled “Nairobi Hospital Physical Security Assessment Report and Proposal” requesting them to review and possibly action it. The project to replace security systems at the hospital, which he said were working properly, was to cost a whooping Ksh118 million.
“Management responded that there were much more pressing priorities. Opticom subsequently won a restricted tender for the UN hospital valued at Ksh31.5 million. The UN interrogated the proposal and only approved Ksh21million worth of it. Why?” posed Shaw.
Following the mismanagement by the board, Shaw revealed that several high ranking were forced to leave the hospital. Among those who left include former CEO Dr Allan Pamba, former COO Mr Hesbone Githiaka, former HR director Ms Dorcas Kiai and former Acting Director of Medical Services and Research Dr Aysha Edwards.
Dr Pamba was unceremonious dismissed last month, seven months after assuming office, over allegations of failure to craft a performance enhancement plan.
In an interview with Daily Nation, Dr Pamba, who has moved to Court to challenge his dismissal, described one of the senior board members as “a helicopter which flies too close to the ground, and all the time.”
He noted that his reluctance to look the other way on attempts to tamper with good governance practices created bad blood between him “and one or two board members” hence his sacking.
One of the tenders at the centre of Pamba’s sacking is the construction of a Ksh1 billion 150-bed-capacity wing funded by the United Nations (UN).
Construction of the Covid-19 treatment facility started on 20 July at the hospital’s old nursing school.
Dr Pamba stated that he followed all right procedures in advertising and awarding the tender only for a board committee to give it to a different company.
Dr Pamba took over from Christopher Abeid who had been appointed as acting CEO following the exit of Gordon Otieno Odundo, whose contract was terminated in April last year.