Off-the-hook former NHIF boss now wants job backWednesday February 01 2023
Former chief executive at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Geoffrey Mwangi has kicked off the process of reclaiming his job at the State corporation, a week after he was cleared from the Sh1.1 billion corruption case.
Should he be reinstated, Mr Mwangi will become the second senior government official suspended by the administration of former President Uhuru Kenyatta over alleged corruption to return to office after being cleared by the court.
Recently, former Kenya Pipeline Company managing director Joe Sang was reinstated to his position though in an acting capacity after the anti-corruption court cleared him from a Sh1.9 billion corruption scandal.
Most of the corruption cases instituted during President Kenyatta’s tenure have been withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji while others have collapsed.
Both Mr Mwangi and Mr Sang were some of the tens of government officials hit by the purge against corruption in President Kenyatta’s regime.
Read: Court drops graft charges against former NHIF CEO
Mr Mwangi is seeking to make a comeback to the NHIF based on the decision of the DPP to withdraw the corruption case in, which he faced eight criminal counts.
Incidentally, Mr Mwangi is pursuing reinstatement at a time the current CEO Dr Peter Kamunyo’s three-year term is close to termination as it will be ending in April 2023.
However, the tenure is renewable for another three years. Dr Kamunyo took the helm at the State-run health insurer on April 14, 2020.
Mr Mwangi left the office in November 2018 following the corruption case. At the time he was the acting CEO having been appointed in February 2016.
He was the fund's finance and investments manager at the time of the appointment.
His lawyer Migos Ogamba said on Tuesday that the former CEO is entitled to reinstatement as he lost the job unfairly and unprocedurally through the alleged corruption case.
“He had worked two years as CEO when the charges were brought which meant that he had to be suspended. When he requested to go back, he was told to finish the court cases. The case is done now, meaning he can properly return to the office and that is the line I am pursuing,” said lawyer Ogamba on Tuesday.
He confirmed that Mr Mwangi was receiving half his salary during the court trial. The lawyer observed that it is right, just and fair that employees go back to their jobs once cleared by the courts from criminal allegations levelled against them.
Read: NHIF pushes for reforms amid board, CEO fallout
“Once suspended from your job and you win the case, you are supposed to be reinstated. That is what we want to do,” said lawyer Ogamba.
The DPP dropped the corruption case against Mr Mwangi after finding that no money was lost in the award of the tender to an online payment company Webtribe Limited.
The DPP also found that there was no sufficient evidence to sustain the trial and that the procurement for service for the provision of the Integrated Revenue Collection System by NHIF was done in accordance with the stipulated law and guidelines.