Health CS Cleophas Mailu has questioned the accuracy of the leaked audit report, which revealed discrepancies in the Ministry of Health and revealed that sh 5B was looted in corrupt dealings, and maintained that no money was lost.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mailu, who was flanked by his Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri said that all expenditure at the ministry had been accounted for.
“We have so far been able to establish all the expenditure under the audit report have been accounted for. The ministry wishes to state, by way of providing clarification and context, that issues raised in the Interim Financial Audit Report were a misrepresentation of material facts and circumstances,” said the CS.
Some of the discrepancies, the CS says, include the consideration of figures which had ultimately been slashed, while in other cases the figures were duplicated.
“The report indicated that we had a sum of Ksh800M, yet this was reduced by 530m to Ksh270. We were then given an additional 350M which internal auditor added to the Ksh800M thus double counting the same figure. The Ksh350M that we were given should be added to Ksh270 million.”
On the Sh800M meant for free maternity, which the audit report said was diverted to different accounts, the CS acknowledged that indeed the funds were diverted but only for a different use (medical supplies) that benefited the same patients.
“The issue of maternity is very emotive. As a ministry, we used money for maternity care to pay suppliers. But equally so, the supplies were applied on the same patients. At the moment, as far as funds for free maternity care are concerned, I cannot tell you money was lost,” Mailu said, adding that the amount that was diverted from free maternity services to purchase of media supplies is Ksh586, 491, 796.45 and not Ksh880, 053, 456.90 as mentioned in the report.”
The CS also announced that the government will hire a private firm of “international repute” to “conduct further independent evaluation of the interim audit report.”
“While we have serious concerns as to the quality of the report and the probity of its methodology and findings, we affirm we are committed to internal and external audits to improve our operations. Consequently, I hereby announce we shall be inviting a private audit firm of international repute. I also urge EACC, KENAO, DCI and other state agencies to expedite the ongoing audits and investigations to safeguard public interest. “said the CS.
On criticism on why a company (Sundales International Limited) owned by president Kenyatta’s sister, Nyokabi Muthama, was awarded a tender Mailu said that anyone in the country had the freedom to conduct business with the government.
“The auditor did not say they were irregularly awarded the contracts. It is not in the document. Anybody can conduct business as long as there is no conflict of interest, in accordance with the Integrity Act and Public Ethics Act.” He said, adding that issues of conflict of interest only arise when the company is owned or affiliated to an employee in the Ministry of Health.