MES MESS

Senators reject controversial medical gadgets project

Senators want companies mentioned in the report barred from doing business in Kenya.

In Summary

• Nandi senator Samson Cherargei said the project was a grand scheme that was meant to fleece counties.

• Lawmakers want report amended to indict state officers involved.

Senate
Senate
Image: FILE

Senators have rejected the damming report on medical kits project and pushed for radical amendments to name, shame and force to step aside state officers who bungled the programme.

Some 27 lawmakers voted against the report that was filed by ad hoc committee after investigating the medical equipment programme for a year.

Only two senators voted for the report.

While terming the report generic and a letter of lamentations, the lawmakers want specific officers indicted and companies adversely mentioned in the report barred from doing business in Kenya.

 
 

“This report looks like a letter of lamentation because the way recommendations have been done is based on observing issues. It is like shooting the blanks,” Nandi senator Samson Cherargei said.

Charargei cited the General Electric East Africa, which was awarded a Sh28 billion contract, whose directors failed to appear before the committee, but was not indicted in the report.

“This was a grand scheme that was meant to fleece counties,” Cherargei said.

On his part, Makueni senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr said the house should amend the report to make all officials mentioned in therein take personal responsibility.

“The committee of the whole should take cognizant of this report and we amend it to conform to what we are seeking. Let us not do a Ruaraka on this report. It will be an indictment on the senate,” he said.

The senate minority chief whip reckoned that the government officials who were involved in the conceptualization and implementation of the project should held liable.

“Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot said that approving the report with ‘generic’ recommendations would be an indictment of the senate which has spent a year investigating the project.

 

According to Cheruiyot, recommendations that EACC and DCI probe the certain individuals will be a pat on the back of the ‘thieves’ bangled the entire programme.

“The greater challenge that we have as a house this afternoon is what we do with such a report. The recommendations are badly wanting,” he said.

Senators Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay) and Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu) called for the indictment of all the senators whose counties are yet to install the equipment.

“There are governors who have kept equipment in boxes for five years. That is almost criminal. How would you keep an equipment in a box in a corner for five years when people are dying because there is no water or electrify to run the equipment?

“These governors should take fiduciary responsibility and fiduciary responsibility,” Kajwang said.