Kenya: How PS Nicholas Muraguri Hid Sh63 Billion Medical Kit Lease Tender

25 September 2020

Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri denied former Health Secretary Cleopha Mailu access to crucial contract documents in the botched Sh63 billion medical leasing deal, a report says.

The Senate committee probing the medical equipment services deal says Mr Muraguri hid the contracts and other supporting documents on grounds that they were 'secret'.

Mr Muraguri, a former director of Health Services served as the Principal Secretary between 2015 and 2017. Mr Mailu, currently Kenya's permanent representative to the United Nations told the committee that Mr Muraguri deliberately impeded his involvement in the activities of the ministry adding that they clashed over their mandates as the CS and PS respectively.

Leasing deal

Under the controversial MES deal, the national government contracted five firms to supply specialised equipment under a leasing deal for the diagnosis and treatment of ailments such as cancer in 2015.

"The committee further observes that according to the testimony of Dr Mailu, he faced various challenges during his tenure as CS Health owing to a poor working relationship with his PS, Dr Nicholas Muraguri arising from disputes over their respective mandates, and alleged efforts by the PS to impede his work at the MoH," the committee says in the report tabled last week. Amid the frosty relationship between the two, Mr Muraguri signed the letter on behalf of the Health ministry that awarded a local firm the contract to supply radiology kits in a deal that breached tender requirements.

Sh24.06 billion contract

GE East Africa, a local company that does not manufacture medical kits won a Sh24.06 billion contract to supply radiology kits to level 4, 5 and 6 hospitals in the counties.

Under the MES deal, only original equipment manufacturers were eligible to vie for the supply of specialised equipment to the 47 devolved units raising concerns on why the ministry went for an unqualified contractor.

The Senate committee did not recommend particular sanctions against the former Health PS, instead saying that any official involved in the flawed deal be charged in court and barred from holding public office.

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