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February 21, 2019

MCAs approve cash for Kitale Referral Hospital

A section of the hospital under construction in Kitale town
A section of the hospital under construction in Kitale town

Work on the Sh1 billion Kitale Referral Hospital will resume after MCAs allocated Sh300 million to complete it.

Trans Nzoia governor Patrick Khaemba had threatened to cancel and auction the project that started two years ago after MCAs rejected a Sh300 million budget proposal to complete it.

But Deputy Governor Stanly Tarus said MCAs have agreed to approve the budget allocation.

“We thank the MCAs because they have agreed to review the budget and increase allocation so the governor can go ahead and complete the project he initiated,” Tarus said. He spoke in Kitale on Friday.

Tarus said the project will benefit people who have to travel to other major towns for specialised care.

A row among the leaders in Trans Nzoia stalled construction of the hospital in Kitale two months ago, frustrating Khaemba’s

healthcare agenda.

The project may also be probed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission after Senator Mike Mbito and some residents demanded an investigation of funding.

Last week, Khaemba threatened to sell the project and recover the more than Sh800 million spent so far.

MCAs allocated Sh200 million to complete the project instead of the Sh330 million requested by the executive. “We will auction the building and cancel the project,” Khaemba said after MCAs rejected the budget.

Speaker Joshua Werunga and youth leaders have asked the MCAs to support the completion of the hospital. Mbito wants action taken against Khaemba for wasting public resources on the project. He argues the project will collapse.

Khaemba said his interest was to develop a modern health facility to ease the burden on residents and the neighbouring areas.

“Our people have to travel to Eldoret for specialised care. My plan has been to get the best facilities in Kitale at the referral hospital,” he told the Star on the phone.

This is the second time there have been disagreements about

the project.

Two years ago, there were claims the county had inflated the cost of purchasing the land for the project, as well as the building cost.

The county bought the land from a private developer at Sh185 million sparking of a row that ended

up in court.

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