Parliamentary committee on health chair Rachael Nyamai accompanied by other MP’s who are members of the health committee at the NYS yard in Miritini,Mombasa yesterday when they inspected the 100 portable containers clinics the costed the government sh10 million for each container a total of sh1 billion for all the 100 clinics.There was sharp division in the parliamentary Health Committee yesterday over the procurement of the Sh1 billion portable 40-foot containers clinics from China.
The 100 containers at the centre of the Sh3.2 billion scandal at the Ministry of Health are being stored at the National Youth Service yard in Miritini Mombasa since their importation.
A batch of the container was received on December last year while the remaining batch was brought into the country in June, according to the Ministry of Health.
Yesterday the Health Committee toured the NYS site in Miritini to inspect the 99 containers which are still being held there.
Some member led by Chairperson Rachel Nyamai (MP Kitui South), gave the containers a clean bill of health, but a section of other members differed saying the prices are outrageous.
“We have ascertained that we have 99 containers at this yard. One was taken to Nairobi for demonstration purposes. Our experts in this committee have also ascertained that most of the medical equipments, as per the contract, are available,’ said Nyamai.
She however failed to say if there was value for money in the containers, which cost Sh10 million each. A section of MPs in the committee disagreed on the pricing of the containers and the procurement process, arguing that the process was flawed after it emerged that the supplier had been paid Sh800 before even delivering the portable clinics. Kathiani MP Robert Mbui, a member of the committee, walked away during a press conference saying that, “I cannot be part of this and we are not in agreement.”
He said he wanted to ask the Ministry officials some question, but the committee chair refused him an opportunity. “We all saw the containers, the prices are exaggerated and I have a right to disagree with other members,” said Mbui. Another MP, David KarIthi of Thigania West, told the Star there is no value for money in the purchased containers.
However, the MPs who gave the container a clean bill of health said the delivery was per the contract.
Dr James Nyikal (Seme MP said): “Most of the items are per the check list; however we need to look at the contract papers to see if the procurement process was followed.”
He said the containers had most of the items indicated in the check list, but on issue of prices they will also need to consult with experts on the same.
Dr Naomi Shaban (Taveta MP) said the Ministry of Health should fast track the process of delivering the clinics on site so that Kenyans can start benefitting from them. “We are satisfied with the portable clinics and the Ministry has a mandate to ensure they are taken to the required sites so that Kenyans can start enjoying from the health services,” said Shaban.
Dr Izaq Odongo, Head of Curative and Rehabilitative Services at the Ministry of Health, said the clinics had to be stored at the NYS compound Mombasa as they are still scouting for places in slum areas countrywide.
“We had an issue with land in slum areas, which is why the clinics are still held here in Mombasa. Our officers are on grounding looking for better locations for installation,” he said. He said the Sh800 million paid to the supplier was part of the initial payment and the containers are not yet the product of the Ministry.
“The full payment for the contract was to be done after installation of each of the 100 containers on site, which will be done as soon as possible,” he told the commitee members. He said they shall also advertise for positions of personnel to be seconded to the clinics, which will be in major slums in the country.
The scandal at the Ministry of Health was first reported by the Business Daily newspaper two weeks ago.
The government has been trying to clarify that the money was not lost, but some MPs still argue that a clinics should at most cost Kenyans Sh3 million.
“We cannot have a container costing Sh10 million, this is an outrageous price,” said the Kathiani MP.