There is more than meets the eye in the Ksh38 billion Medical Equipment Management Scheme (MEMS), now roping in Muhoho Kenyatta, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother.
In new revelation, it is reported that Muhoho is the prime mover of the deal that has not augured well with senators and governors.
Madam learns that Muhoho has registered a number of shell companies both in Kenya and outside, which he used to secure the deal until 2022 when his brother leaves office.
In 2015, the county governments were coerced to signing MEMS at the cost of Ksh97.7 million per county. However, the amount was revised upwards to Ksh200 per county, without retendering as required by the law. Neither was the consent of governors and senators sought through the process, despite counties being directly affected by the project.
This is what caught Health CS Sicily Kariuki between a rock and a hard place when she appeared before the senate health committee.
Despite health being a devolved function, the government has been making deductions at source, making it almost impossible to trace the final destination of the monies.
Worse still, the equipment which is supposed to be helping the citizens is lying idle in most counties due to lack of trained personnel. This leaves five beneficiaries of the equipment, the five faceless companies allegedly owned by Muhoho.
The companies include General Electric (GE) registered in US, Philips from Netherlands, Bellco SRL from Italy, Esteem from India and Mindray Biomedical from China, represented in Kenya by unknown entities which collect payments from the government.
The identity of the local agents representing the companies has also remained a top secret, highly guarded.
Counties are left with no option, and they have to part with Ksh200 million whether they use the equipment or not, according to Kariuki.
The MEMS project, which has turned into a scandal, has been likened to the Anglo-leasing scandal that hit Kibaki government in single-sourced and overpriced tenders.
A project that was meant to provide accessible and affordable specialised healthcare for seven years has turned into a cash cow for a member of the first family, Muhoho, who has remained mum despite being adversely mentioned in the scandal.
Kariuki, who is reportedly a beneficiary of the NYS scandal has remained unshaken in the roar of 47 governors and senators.
Muhoho was recently mentioned to be among the cartels involved in the importation of contraband sugar that was termed unfit for human consumption.