Cord leader Raila Odinga has linked President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family to the alleged loss of Sh5.2 billion at the Ministry of Health that is now under investigation.
Mr Odinga said one of the companies that benefitted from the transactions is associated with the President’s extended family members while another is associated with his close friends and confidants.
“This scandal is President Kenyatta’s. He must deal with it as such. He must tell the country what he knows, when he knew it and what he did when he knew it,” Mr Odinga said during a press conference at his Capitol Hill Towers office, Nairobi.
He said the theft of public funds is a continuation of what started with the National Youth Service where, again, family members and close confidants of the President were implicated as direct beneficiaries of the more than Sh791 million scandal.
“Is the President silent on this and the many other thefts in the country because of this conflicted position? Is he giving up on the war of corruption because it has now entered his own inner sanctum? We have reason to believe so,” Mr Odinga said.
He claimed that one of the companies mentioned, Estama Ltd, which was paid to supply 100 container clinics at Sh1 million each, and which have never been supplied, is associated with people in the Presidency.
Mr Odinga noted the government was working hard to deny its involvement in corrupt practices by initiating investigations meant to hoodwink the public that it was committed to unearth those behind the scandal.
According to the internal audit report, Sandales International Ltd, which was paid Sh41 million has Ms Kathleen Kihanya, Ms Nyokabi Muthama and Mr Samson Kamiri as directors.
Ms Kihanya is a cousin of President Kenyatta and has worked for his election campaign team in the past. Ms Muthama, on the other hand, is a sister of the President.
A marketing professional, Ms Kihanya worked in Mr Kenyatta’s failed presidential campaign in 2002. But after the elections, Mr Kenyatta, who won the Gatundu South seat, asked her to help set up a structure to manage the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
She also managed his appointments, and media relations, which she ran from the Uhuru Kenyatta Centre. After six months, Uhuru appointed her his CDF chairperson.
The other firm in the scandal is Life Care Medics, associated with Mr Richard Ngatia Waweru (500 shares) and Mr Paul Ndungu (500 shares), was paid Sh201 million. It was incorporated in August 12, 2013.
For Estama Ltd, since incorporation on June 19, 2008, it has never filed returns. The names of directors of the company are Mr Ambrose Makanga Ngari, (500 shares) and Ms Esther Wahito Makanga (500 shares).
Medafrica Ltd, the other company named, has not filed any annual returns since its incorporation August 12, 2013. It is owned by Ms Njage Makanga and Ms Naomi Wanjiku Mirithu, with 400 and 100 shares, respectively.
“The President cannot claim to know nothing about these individuals. And Kenyans know who these people are to the President,” the former Prime Minister said.
But Ms Kihanya, who is the Managaing Director of Sandales International, said it is wrong for some Kenyans to be demonised simply because they are related to the President.
“It is true, this is my company. But, we have done nothing wrong. We have done a clean business and there are documents to prove that,” she said on Friday.
Mr Odinga dismissed Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu’s assertion that investigations are being carried out over the matter saying before an internal audit report is prepared, those adversely mentioned must have been interrogated.
Mr Odinga said the ongoing investigations by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and other investigative agencies are knee-jerk reactions that will not lead to prosecution of the key masterminds of the deal. “That the government is saying people are being investigated is all rubbish,” Mr Odinga said. Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, on the other hand, called for the President to resign for failing to tackle corruption.
Mr Mudavadi said as the country’s chief executive officer, the President had absconded his duties and should vacate office.
“A government that allows its officers to steal from the vulnerable Kenyans can only have wished them death. The worse is yet to come,” he said.
Last evening, the Cooperative Bank, which is said to have received Sh265 million, noted the payment was in respect of two Letters of Credit established on the account of business. “The delivery of the commodities was to Kenya Medical Supplies Authority,” Mr Ngumo Kahiga, the bank’s head of marketing and communication, said.
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