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Economy

Rotich stops mobile clinics in Afya scam

NYS officers walk next to some mobile clinics imported from China by Estama Investments at the NYS camp in Miritini on October 30, 2016. Photo | Laban Walloga | NMG
NYS officers walk next to some mobile clinics imported from China by Estama Investments at the NYS camp in Miritini on October 30, 2016. Photo | Laban Walloga | NMG 

Treasury has slammed the brakes on the installation and commissioning of portable medical clinics that were linked to the controversial Sh5 billion health scandal last year.

Through the Supplementary Budget, the Treasury has cut Sh450 million allocated for the installation and commissioning of 100 containers that continue to waste away at the National Youth Service yard in Mombasa.

“100 portable clinics were procured and are due for installation and commissioning in the sites that are to be prepared by the Ministry,” Health principal secretary Julius Korir said in submissions to the special committee of the National Assembly that is reviewing the supplementary budget.

“The removal of the allocation of Sh450 million will result in the programme not being implemented at all.”

Mr Korir said the ministry is implementing the project as part of the slum upgrading programme. Under the plan, portable health clinics will be provided in urban slums in 20 counties.

“This is in response to the government policy of providing affordable health services closer to the public,” he said in a brief to the special committee.

Last year, a leaked internal audit report revealed how top Ministry of Health officials could not account for Sh5 billion.

It also emerged that funds meant for free maternity care had been diverted. The report revealed that Sh800 million was paid to Estama Investment Ltd to supply 100 portable medical clinics.

The company supplied the 100 portable clinics at a cost of Sh1.1 billion. The equipment arrived at the Port of Mombasa but has not been distributed nearly two years since being shipped in.

According to the leaked audit, Estama was among the private companies, civil servants and government departments that benefited from Sh889 million diverted from the free maternity programme at the county governments.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) filing revealed that Estama Investments spent Sh1.4 million to buy and import each of the container clinics that were then sold to the government at Sh10 million.

KRA documents show that Estama Investment, which was incorporated in Panama and its identity revealed in the Wikileaks Panama Papers, imported a consignment of 20 containers in November 2015 for Sh29 million.

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