Attorney General Paul Kihara has disclosed his office did not approve Sh63 billion contracts for medical equipment, deepening the controversy.
Kihara told the Senate ad-hoc committee probing the deal he did not review and approve final contracts that the Ministry of Health signed in great fanfare with international suppliers.
Further, the AG said the Health ministry did not engage his office in the initial stages of the programme until it received a letter requesting the procurement of Iseme and Kamau Associates to act as legal adviser to the programme.
He said his office, then under his predecessor Githu Muigai, only endorsed the ceremonial signing of the expression of intention to contract, pending further negotiations before signing final contracts.
The counties said they do not want the equipment never wanted it, won’t pay and consider that the deal was being forced down their throats.
The ceremonial event was held at State House where the Ministry of Health signed the deal with five international firms to supply medical equipment.
The firms are General Electric East Africa Services Limited, Esteem Industries Inc, Philips Medical Systems, Bellco SrL and Shenzhen Mindray Bio-medical Electronic Company Limited.
The AG said there were outstanding issues with the contracts that were signed at State House and that he had advised the ministry to delay, further negotiate and agree on the final text.
“We note that there are still a number of outstanding issues relating to these contracts and pursuit to a clause of the contract as read with schedule paragraph 5.1 and 5.2 of the contracts, the parties have undertaken to conclude the negotiations after the scheduled signing on the 6th of February at which His Excellency will witness,” a letter dated February 5, 2015, by former AG Muigai said.
Kihara told the committee, led by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo, that upon the conclusion of the negotiations, the ministry was supposed to submit a final draft contract and other added to the State Law office for review and approval.
The Ministry never submitted the documents for approval.
“It was agreed that the five contracts for the purposes of the ceremonial signing would have wording to the effect that the same were mere expressions of intention to contract and were subject to further negotiations between the parties,” Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto said.