Senate committee probing the multibillion-shilling medical kits leasing scandal is threatening to implicate former Health PS Khadijah Kassachoon or failing to adequately respond to issues raised by the ad-hoc committee. She also failed to provide supporting documents on the deal.
Senator Fatuma Dullo who leads the panel said Kassachoon’s failure to recall how the Sh63 billion deal was signed points the extent to which the project was neglected and bungled.
The former PS signed the Sh38 billion contracts for the Managed Equipment Service (MES) programme in 2015 and it was later edited to Sh63 billion.
The committee also interrogated Iseme Kamau and Muema Advocates, that provided legal advice and prepared contract documents for four hours.
The committee wanted to know the role of IKM Advocates played in the controversial project. The firm was represented by lawyer Paul Muite.
Mr Muite was put to task to explain if there was conflict of interest in its hiring.
IKM was represented by senior counsel Paul Muite, was hard pressed to explain how it was contracted and whether there was a conflict of interest in its hiring. The committee accused Kasachoon of presenting a vague and shallow document without annexure.
This was the second time Kasachhon was appearing before the panel. She was sent away last Friday and instructed to keep in touch with the ministry to provide the relevant documents and response.
“We have given you a lot of time. Our conclusion is that you have refused to give us information that we requested. The documents you have given us are not signed, no addressee and the content of the response is vague,” Dullo said.
In her defence, Kassachoon said she had contacted current PS Susan Mochache to assemble a team and make documents and responses required by the committee available.
“The PS told me that she will put a team and provide the responses. But I have to appear here today (Monday) as directed by the committee,” she said.
In documents presented to the committee, she said claimed that adequate assessment was done are required by the Health Ministry policies before rolling out any project.
He responses attracted mixed reactions with members demanding to know how she could admit that a needs assessment was done yet some equipment was still idling.
“How can you say you don’t know PFK, SPA and IKM yet they were contracted by the Ministry of Health where you were the accounting officer?” Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula asked.
When asked by Senator Moses Wetang’ula to explain how she didnt know PFK, SPA and IKM were contracted by the MoH where she was the accounting officer?
Her failure to respond forced Senator Dullo to adjourn the hearing with a threat to implicate her in the scandal because she has turned controversial.
Report from the Auditor General’s office found that the ministry handpicked IKM to provide legal advice. IKM then drafted contract documents and letters of support given out to the firms.
And according to the committee, the firm had also been contracted by General Electric East Africa and Philips, that also won the multibillion-shilling contract.
Muite however insisted that IKM was hired by the ministry because it was among those pre-qualified by the Attorney General.