CHAIRMAN QUIT LAST WEEK

More Nairobi Hospital board members resign ahead of AGM

Wednesday annual general meeting is expected to replace the remaining members

In Summary

•In June, Justice Joyce Aluoch and surgeon Dr Eric Kahugu resigned from the board days before the hospital’s stormy extraordinary general meeting held that month.

Those expected to join the board include Wilfred Irungu Ndiritu, Chris Bichage, Steven Ochiel, Maxwel Odongo, and Victor Miseda

The Nairobi Hospital
WRANGLE-RIDDEN: The Nairobi Hospital
Image: FILE

 

Three Nairobi Hospital board members have resigned ahead of Wednesday’s special AGM expected to kick the current board out of the private medical facility.

Charles Kariuki and Anuthia Kapila have resigned, joining ex-chairman John Simba, who quit last week.

Stakeholders under the umbrella Kenya Hospitals Association (KHA) replaced Simba with Nairobi businessman Joseph Wathoa Kigwe in the wrangle-ridden board. 

The special general meeting is expected to replace the remaining members, who are still clinging on amid calls to quit.

The agenda of the annual general meeting of November 27 is to remove the current board,” a partner in the Echessa & Bwire Advocates, which recently represented KHA in court, Miller Bwire, told the Star on phone.

The stakeholders want to bring order at the facility following protracted battles over a questionable expansion plan.

The current board sacked the hospital's chief executive Gordon Odundo early this year.

“The court allowed the Kenya Hospitals Association, who are the owners of the health facility, to proceed with the AGM,” Bwire said.

In June, two other board members - Justice Joyce Aluoch and surgeon Dr Eric Kahugu - resigned barely days before the hospital’s stormy extraordinary general meeting held that month.

Businessman Joseph Kigwe was appointed as a replacement since he was the only person who expressed interest to join the board at that time.

New members expected to join the board after Wednesday's meeting are Wilfred Irungu Ndiritu, Chris Bichage, Steven Ochiel, Maxwel Odongo, Victor Miseda, Robert Shaw, Charles Amira and Charles Wambugu.

June's closed-door EGM came in the backdrop of an audit report by Ernst & Young (EY), which revealed procurement irregularities and conflicts of interest.

Firms associated with some board members bid and won multi-million contracts at the hospital, the report showed. 

The draft audit report, seen by Star, covered transactions dating back to 2013.

It questioned the procurement of 16 stock items amounting to Sh130 million that were made without the CEO’s approval.

“The manual indicates that a purchase requisition for stock items above Sh1 million should be approved by the procurement and stores manager, chief accountant, finance controller and finance director and the CEO,” the auditors said.

The audit also flagged six of the 11 big projects initiated between March 2013 and October 2016 which had cost overruns amounting to Sh1.7 billion.

“The initial total contract value for these projects amounted to Sh3 billion but subsequent variations increased this value to Sh4.8 billion,” the report says.

The projects in question include the Anderson Centre whose contract value was Sh530 million but was revised to Sh884.9 million.

The Central Supplies Operationalisation contract value was Sh195 million but the hospital ended up paying Sh650 million.

The new main kitchen was bid at Sh869.5 million but its cost rose to Sh1.2 billion.

Shareholders of the Kenya Hospital Association said no proper justification was given for such massive project variations of more than 50 per cent.

They also questioned the squeezing of "so many structures" at the hospital.

“The buildings are so close together. This might not pass a World Health Organisation audit,” Dr Robin Mogere, a consultant surgeon told the June meeting. 

 

edited by p. obuya