Ex-NHIF boss has a case to answer

Former NHIF managing director Richard Kerich. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The High Court has ruled that former National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) boss Richard Kerich and four others have a case to answer for conspiracy to defraud the insurer of Sh117 million.

Mr Kerich was charged alongside four others and the Meridian Medical Centre in connection with the loss of the millions of shillings meant for civil servants’ medical cover. The other accused are Marwa Chacha, David Kipruto Chingi, Peter Ngunjiri Wambugu and Ndiba Wairioko.

Nairobi chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ruled that the prosecution has established a case against Mr Kerich, Mr Chacha, a former manager, strategy and corperate planning, and Mr Chingi, a former assistant manager, benefits and quality assurance at NHIF.

The court also ruled that Mr Wambugu and Mr Warioko and Meridian Medical Centre have a case to answer.

They were charged in connection with a Sh116.9 million medical scheme for civil servants and disciplined services awarded to Meridian.

The former NHIF officials are accused of entering a deal with Meridian when they were aware the medical facility could not provide such services.

Mzalendo cover

Mr Kerich, Mr Chacha, and Mr Chingi are also accused of abuse of office for failing to comply with procurement laws, and conferring a benefit of Sh43 million to Meridian, offences they allegedly committed on December 21, 2011 and February 8, 2012.

Meridian was among 173 facilities that responded to an advertisement by the State medical insurer calling for a proposal for the provision of outpatient services to civil servants.

The cover, known as Mzalendo, shortlisted 10 branches belonging to Meridian. The scheme was to start in January 2012.

Procurement law

The court, however, acquitted Mr Chacha on one count of failing to comply with the procurement laws, saying his involvement came later after the procurement processes had been concluded.

“The involvement of the second accused (Mr Chacha) only came later on, that is, post the fact of selection of the sixth accused (Meridian) as a medical service provider and contracting,” Mr Mugambi ruled.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.