Kenyans were treated to a rude shock yesterday after details emerged that a graft cartel had bought off the entire copies of yesterday’s Business Daily (BD) newspaper from vendors in a desperate move to impede an expose’ detailing how Sh5 billion was looted from Afya House, in a similar modus operandi to that of the sh 791million NYS scandal, from reaching the public domain.
Vendors had run out of the copies by 6:30 am with editors at Nation Media saying they got concerned after readers started calling to find out why they couldn’t get their hands on copies of the paper.
According to the controversial story run by the Business Daily, which developed from a leaked forensic audit, top officials at the Ministry of Health have stolen more than Sh5 billion in an NYS-style mega corruption scandal involving diversion of funds, double payment for goods, and manipulation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS).
The Sh5 billion stolen is said to account for 23% of the Sh 23B allocated to the ministry in the 2015/16 budget.
Among the fraudulent transactions detailed by the BD is 800M meant for counties for the free maternity care, which was diverted to other uses. The Kenyatta hospital is also reported to have lost 1.5 B in fraudulent payments and Sh 515m was also diverted to the Aids Control Programme cash.
Health PS Nicholas Muraguri threatens journalists over graft expose’
Health PS Nicholas Muraguri is also accused of threatening A Business Daily journalist over the story, a revelation that saw Kenyans take on social media to call for his arrest.
The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) has demanded the immediate resignation and prosecution of Dr Muraguri for defending wanton corruption at the Ministry and for the threats made to the journalist.
Willy Mutunga was Right on Cartels
The Sh 5 billion Afya House corruption scandal has made previous ones like the NYS, SGR and Eurobond saga look like child’s play. Much worse, the impunity in which these crooks are looting confirms former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga’s sentiments that “Kenya is a bandit economy ran by mafia-style cartels”.
“The influence of the cartels is overwhelming…If we do not fight the cartels, we become their slaves. But leaders who do take on the cartels must be prepared to be killed or exiled.” Said Willy Mutunga in a previous interview with Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad.
“What happens now in Kenya with corruption has become a very serious war between cartels. Whenever there is a change of government, some cartels benefit and others lose out. And those that lose out don’t go out quietly. And that is where the judiciary comes in, because the losers come to court and say: ‘under the constitution, this tender for the railroad did not have public participation, it was single sourcing, it was corrupt’.” He added.