Parliament has ordered a forensic audit into the award of a tender to upgrade Eldoret’s Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, which a whistleblower claims Deputy President William Ruto interfered with.
Public Investment Committee (PIC) chairman Adan Keynan said his team had resolved that the Auditor General should conduct an audit on the procurement for the Sh17 billion upgrade and the advertised tender for the construction of a new facility at a cost of Sh28 billion.
The directive followed threats by Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma to initiate impeachment proceedings against Mr Ruto following various corruption scandals associated with his name.
“I will be bringing a petition under Article 95(5), as read together with Article 10 and Chapter Six of the Constitution, to Parliament to have the House review the conduct of Deputy President Ruto and resolve on his removal from office if he does not comply and leave office on his own volition,” Kaluma said.
Mr Keynan said the committee had resolved to direct its secretariat to prepare a detailed analysis on emerging issues following the tabling of an audio recording that allegedly implicates officials in the office of the Deputy President in interfering with the project.
Once the special audit and the analysis are ready, Keynan said the committee will proceed to probe the matter and make recommendations to the National Assembly for adoption or rejection.
Mr Herbert Ojwang, the upgrade’s proposer, last week tabled damning reports and audio clips claiming that the cost of the project had been inflated from the original Sh17 billion to Sh28 billion.
He claimed the public stand to lose Sh11 billion in the proposed development of a new referral hospital on a 200-acre parcel of Kenya Prisons land in Eldoret. He said the designs for the new hospital will be the same as those meant for upgrading the existing one.
Mr Ojwang alleged that Ruto pushed him out of a lucrative deal with two Chinese firms, China Wu Yi and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), for the upgrading the hospital.
The Nairobi-based businessman, who once served as an aide to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said Mr Ruto, through his aide Caleb Kositany exerted immense pressure on him to drop his dealings with the Chinese and the hospital and hand the project to Mr Kositany.
Mr Ojwang claimed Kericho Senator Charles Keter had agreed to help him stay on the project but on condition that he parts with 50 per cent of his commission. He was to get five per cent (Sh850 million) of the total project for securing the business to the Chinese.
“The committee has deliberated on this matter and is seized of the issue,” Keynan said. “Having taken stock of what was given, PIC resolved to ask for a detailed audit within shortest time possible.”
Mr Keynan said the auditor has the capacity, manpower and knowledge to interrogate all issues that have been raised including the audio tapes that were presented voluntarily by Mr Ojwang.
“We have also asked the secretariat to thoroughly analyse information given and come up with informed position. Once we have analysis and forensic audit, the committee will sit, deliberate and agree on way forward,” he said.
He asked the media to exercise caution and allow everybody involved in the matter to be heard.
“Let us not judge anybody before the audit is done. This matter is of grave national interest,” Keynan said.