The controversial KSh63 billion Managed Equipment Service deal has been termed as a criminal enterprise shrouded in opaque procurement processes and aimed at benefiting a few commercial interests.
The project launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in February 2015 and vehemently opposed by Governors – led by their then Chairman Isaac Ruto – has been a subject of several investigations, the Senate Ad Hoc Committee being the latest.
The committee tabled their report before the Senate on Tuesday afternoon after more than one year of investigations.
The committee noted that despite the MES project being a public interest venture that was intended to benefit the public, the persons involved in the conceptualization and implementation of the project from start to finish, it was implemented it in a manner that violated the Constitution and the sacred principles that the project was originally conceived under.
However, the report was shy in naming any persons directly involved in the alleged irregularities only recommending for further investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“In some instances, the procurement was done to advance private commercial interests that were supply driven rather at the expense of the Kenyan public and in contravention of Article 201,” the nine member committee, chaired by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo and deputized by Bungoma’s Moses Wetangula said in the underwhelming report.
It was noted that even as Counties continue to use the equipment, a myriad of challenges continues to surround the leasing of the equipment with the most grave one thus far being the annual payments remitted by Counties towards leasing.
County Governments now remit KSh200 million every year up from KSh95 million in 2014 when the equipment were first supplied.
“The Committee noted with concern that this is the only project where conditional grants meant for county governments and appropriated under the County Allocation of Revenue Acts, are deducted at the source and transferred to the Ministry of Health instead of being deposited in the respective County Revenue Fund,” the report says.
According to the investigations of the committee, some equipment in the MES project was either overpriced, substandard, delivered late, or undelivered at all.