Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
The Council of Governors (CoG) wants Senate to form a select committee to probe the Sh38 billion medical equipment lease the counties were forced to sign under the Managed Equipment Services (MES) programme.
This is after governors protested what they termed an arbitrary increment on the pricing from Sh4.5 billion to Sh9 billion.
In particular, the multi-billion-shilling medical equipment leasing plan launched in February 2015 amid misgivings by the governors was touted as the best way of dealing with the chronic crisis in the health sector.
The equipment with a seven-year lifeline was distributed to 98 hospitals countrywide.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget, Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said each county will now be paying Sh200 million, up from the previous agreement of Sh97.7 million.
“Leasing of the contentious medical equipment is directly debited from our budgets, none of the 47 governors know what they signed or where the money goes to,” he said.
Oparanya, who is also the Kakamega Governor claimed he was blackmailed to accept the medical equipment and sign a leasing agreement that he had not read through.
“The equipment was brought to Kakamega General Hospital at night on a Saturday. I declined but I was made to accept under duress,” he added.
According to the CoG, procuring health equipment was strictly the responsibility of the county governments and therefore, the national government did not have any responsibility in the deal.
Senators Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma), Mutula Kilonzo (Makueni), Ali Abdullahi Ibrahim (Wajir) and nominated Senator Farhiya Haji welcomed the move saying the deal was “shrouded in a web of opaque and secretive agreements” between the government and suppliers of the equipment.