Top Stories / National
Friday, 28 Oct 2016 20:02 EAT
CORD leader Raila Odinga has said today that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s failure to fight corruption was because his family members and close associates were involved in the vice. In a no-holds-barred press conference, Mr Odinga asked the president to bring his own family members to justice over the loss of Sh5 billion from the Ministry of Health.
The former prime minister rubbished the probe launched into the scandal by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission this morning, saying it was part of an elaborate cover-up to shield the culprits. "President Kenyatta must tell the country what he knows, when he knew it and what he did when he knew it”, said an agitated Mr Odinga when he addressed journalists at his Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi.
He said the companies involved in the Sh5 billion scam were owned by people close to the presidency. Speaking after the attorney general Githu Muigai had released names of directors of some of the companies involved in the scandal, the former prime minister said all the companies were associated with the president's close friends, family members and confidantes.
He spoke as it emerged that Sundales International Limited, which was never mentioned in the list issued by the AG’s office, is directly owned by the president's sister Nyokabi Muthama, his cousin Kathleen Kihanya, and a Mr Samson Karimi. The firm was paid more than Sh300 million from controversial procurement from the Ministry of Health and not Sh41 million as has been reported previously.
Other companies include Life Care Medics, which earned Sh201 million and is owned by Richard Ngatia and Paul Ndungu, and Estama Ltd which was paid to supply 100 container clinics at Sh1 million each, none of which was supplied.
The primary information about the scandals were contained in an interim (internal) audit report prepared for the Auditor-General and which has unearthed the potential loss of Sh5 billion. The Kenya Free Press has learnt that Sundales International Limited was registered only on 12 September 2013, and within the next few months it had been awarded contracts worth Sh272 million by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) alone.
The tender awards whose reference numbers are KEMSA/RT 1/2014-2016, KEMSA/RT 1/2014-2016, KEMSA/ ONT1/2015-2017, KEMSA-RT1-2014/2016, KEMSA/RT 1/2014-2016 and KEMSA/RT1/2014-2016, were for the "supply of pharmaceuticals" and "supply of non-pharmaceuticals". At least one of the tenders qualified under the youth category.
While its registered office is at Kenindia House on Loita Street, information on the company's website indicated that it was based off Ngong Road, at Kamburu Drive. On its website, the company describes itself as "a full service trading company" and has high-sounding accolades for itself. "We value our clients as business partners. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of service to them and will treat their goals and objectives as our own. We will increase their competitive advantage by consistently exceeding expectations."
Mr Odinga spoke as President attended the National Taxpayers’ Day and failed to address the subject that has dominated national conversations for three days. On live TV on October 10, the president had admitted that he was frustrated by the war against corruption and pointed an accusing finger at anti-corruption agencies and officials. He rebuked the agencies, including the Judiciary, for stalling the fight saying he had sacked ministers and done everything in his power to end the vice.
However, Mr Odinga said details of the Sh5 billion scandal are beginning to raise doubts on the President’s innocence in what is happening around him with regard to theft of public funds. He expressed concern that Kenyans are “coming to terms with the abdication of authority by the President” over his failure to address scandals which are following one another in his administration.
“Is it conceivable that, for a government that is now openly boasting that it can read people’s computers and bank accounts remotely, did not know that key members of his administration, friends and kins were involved in corrupt business at the Ministry of Health, touching on a program in which he has shown direct personal interest like maternal health”, he said.