Global Fund detectives probe Sh5.3 billion Afya House scandal

Global Fund detectives probe Sh5.3 billion Afya House scandal
  • A team of investigators from the Global Fund have pitched tent at the Ministry of Health to gather evidence on the alleged misappropriation of Sh5.3 billion in donor funds.
  • The fraud detectives are particularly interested in the Sh50 billion grant allocation for 2014-16.

“They have been here for the better part of this week, as you may be aware USAID withdrew the funding of essential programmes carried by the ministry but we expect detectives to finish their work today (Friday),” a source told X news.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Tuesday suspended Sh2.1 billion in financial aid to the Ministry citing corruption, weak accounting procedures and lack of accountability.

USAID, and by extension the global Fund, provides financial support to programmes committed to the eradication and treatment of Kenya’s communicable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, in addition to, HIV/AIDS.

In the 2014-16 financial report, the Ministry of Health’s internal auditor revealed that the state body may have lost up to Sh5.3 billion worth of taxpayers money through dubious contracts and inflated commodity prices supplied to the Ministry among other things.

DSW, a renowned German non-profit organisation on Wednesday called on the government to swing into action and address donor fears to avert further withdrawals.

DSW funds sexual and reproductive health and population programmes in Kenya.

"We call on President Uhuru Kenyatta to move with speed to discuss and resolve all issues raised by the US Ambassador to ensure swift return to full US government support for healthcare services delivery in Kenya "

DSW Kenya Country Director Evelyn Samba

On the other hand, opposition chief and NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga took a swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta for allegedly shielding the masterminds of the Afya House scandal leading to USAID suspending funding for activities carried out by the scandal-ridden Ministry.

READ ALSO: Come clean on Afya house scandal, Raila tells Uhuru after USAID withdraws funding

In a statement, Mr Odinga said the architects of the Ministry of Health scandal are relatives and friends of President Kenyatta.

"It is common knowledge that the architects of the Ministry of Health scam, are highly placed people in Jubilee government and relatives and friends of the President. "

Odinga

The ODM leader challenged President Kenyatta to come clean on the scam, arrest its architects, arraign them in court and recover the money lost to enable the country make peace with donors and continue getting the support that Kenya desperately needed

"Only recently, the man who supervised this grand theft, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, was transferred to a more lucrative ministry instead of being sacked and prosecuted."

Odinga

The ODM leader said President Kenyatta needs to understand that Kenyans are running out of patience.

But Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu allayed fears that the withdrawal of USAID funds will affect the activities in the Ministry.

READ ALSO: Senators want Mailu, Muraguri to quit over Sh5bn health scam

Mailu said the suspension only affects programme administrative support and does not affect health service delivery to Kenyans.

"We assure Kenyans that stock-outs and non-availability of medical supplies will not be experienced. Procurement of life saving commodities such as ARVs, HIV test kits, Nutritional supplements, family planning products and lifesaving equipment has not been affected by the suspension, which the Ministry expects to be temporary. "

Mailu

The CS stated that they are awaiting the probe report before carrying out any action.

He also said the office of Auditor General Dr Edward Ouko and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) are already undertaking independent investigations whose conclusion will inform further outcomes.

Mailu assured development partners and Kenyans of the ministry’s commitment to prudent financial management and accountability of the resources placed under his stewardship.

He added that the Kenyan government will continue engaging its US counterpart to address their concerns with a view to lifting the suspension.

 

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