SCANDALS

EACC, DCI should bring to book MES culprits

MES could be one of the biggest scandals in the country

In Summary

• Constitution provides for the rights to the highest attainable standard of health

• Health-related procurement have become the bastion for big money graft in Kenya.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti
SECRET: Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti
Image: MONICA MWANGI

The 2010 Constitution provides for elaborate rights and freedoms, including the right to the highest attainable standard of health. In fact, Article 43 (1) says every Kenyan has the right to healthcare.

Despite this constitutional milestone, Kenya remains vulnerable. Access to quality healthcare remains a tall order for many citizens. It’s, therefore, sad and unconscionable that health-related procurement has become the bastion for big money graft in this country.

The procurement of Covid-19-related items is just but an example. But the saddest story is the Sh63 billion managed equipment services (MES), a public interest project that could have revolutionised healthcare provision in Kenya. Unfortunately, it appears to have turned into one of the country’s biggest scandals.

The Senate ad hoc committee that investigated the scam has returned a harsh verdict. It says the project was conceived like a criminal enterprise, shrouded in opaque procurement processes and aimed at benefiting a few commercial interests. This committee seems to be spot on.

Investigating agencies must now jump in and bring to book those who orchestrated this grand stealing from public coffers.

There is every reason to prioritise these investigations. The amounts involved are mind-boggling and there is urgent need to clean the rot in the health sector.