The current Lands Permanent Secretary Nicholas Muraguri has been accused of hiding documents in the infamous Ksh63 billion managed equipment services (MES) while he was the Health PS between 2015 and 2017.
According to a Senate report on the scandal, Muraguri withheld the contracts and other supporting documents on grounds that they were ‘secret’.
In the contract, the State was to supply counties with medical equipment, but it was found that the supplies were “overpriced and unnecessary”.
The report reveals that the then Health cabinet secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu was denied access of the contract documents, alongside other top health officials.
“The committee further observes that according to the testimony of Dr Mailu, he faced various challenges during his tenure as CS Health owing to a poor working relationship with his PS, Dr Nicholas Muraguri arising from disputes over their respective mandates, and alleged efforts by the PS to impede his work at the MoH,” the committee says in the report.
The state signed contract with China’s Shenzhen Mindray, India’s Esteem Industries, General Electric and Philips to supply equipment such as CT scanners to the counties. However, most of the equipment lay idle in the counties since there were no skilled people to operate the equipment.
Muraguri was linked to one of the firms that bagged the contracts. Another firm, GE East Africa, got a Ksh24.06 billion contract to supply radiology kits to level 4, 5 and 6 hospitals in the counties, despite not being a manufacturer of medical kits.