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NHIF Boss Kamunyo Hard Pressed to Explain How Sh200 Million was Utilised in Row with Interior Ministry

DR Peter Kamunyo. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter Kamunyo on Thursday had difficulties explaining how Sh200 million that was to be refunded to the Ministry of Interior after lapse of police and prison officers medical cover was utilised.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu had flagged a delay to refund the funds in her report on the accounts of the Interior ministry for the 2018/19 financial year.

The Sh200 million was part of the Sh4.79 billion comprehensive medical cover awarded to NHIF on September 26, 2017, to cushion the members of the National Police Service who might exhaust their cover limits.

The amount was to be refunded at the end of the contract if no one exceeded their limit during the cover period.

Read: CS Kagwe Explains Why NHIF Is Not Covering Covid-19 Treatment

In the report, Gathungu said there was no evidence of any employee exceeding the limit, hence, the money should have been refunded.

“This amount was refundable at the end of the contract but was not refunded when the contract came to an end. Consequently, it was not possible to determine whether the National Police Service got value for money from the amount of Sh200,000,000 that was due for refund at the end of the comprehensive medical cover contract,” Gathungu said in her report.

But appearing before the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, the NHIF boss denied claims that the state corporation with a mandate to provide health insurance to Kenyans is holding onto the millions being demanded by the Fred Matiang’i led ministry.

In his submissions, Dr Kamunyo told the committee that all the monies remitted to NHIF were spent and only a balance of Sh5 million remained.

Read Also: DP Ruto Joins Kenyans In Calls For NHIF To Foot Covid-19 Bills

He would later be dismissed by the committee to get the required information detailing the breakdown of the expenditure after the MP’s questioned his sincerity.

“For inpatient care for the lower job group, there was a utilisation of Sh205,554,081, for C-section utilisation was Sh9,642,567, for optical was Sh12,179,202, dental Sh8,319,324. So for the total fund utilisation for the year 2018/19 was Sh237,238,889 leaving an accumulative balance of Sh5, 326,427,” the CEO said.

The committee members Aden Duale (Garissa Township), Joseph Ngugi (Gatanga), Dr Wilberforce Oundo (Funyula) and Dr Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) also demanded an explanation for the delay of details of how the money was spent.

Read Also: NHIF Moves to Appeal Sh10 Million Awarded to Couple Over Copyright Claims

The CEO said that the agency had provided all the details of how the money was spent although this was only provided in the aggregated returns of the whole Sh4.7 billion instead of giving a breakdown on the utilisation of Sh4.5billion separately and Sh 200 million separately.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, while appearing before the committee last month, had threatened to withhold subscription to the agency over the funds row.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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