By Luke Anami
Confusion continues to reign at the National Hospital Insurance firm ( NHIF) where embattled acting chief executive officer Adan A. Adan is staying put, even as Medical Services Minister Prof Anyang Nyong’o moves to have a new board take over management of the fund.
Last week Nyong’o fired Adan after The Standard unearthed yet another scandal, this time involving the acting CEO who allegedly sanctioned the hiring of his wife and relatives. On Monday The Standard established Nyong’o wrote to stakeholders last week asking them to nominate new members to the Fund’s board.
Nyong’o, who has been at loggerheads with acting Head of the Civil Service Francis Kimemia over alleged interference in the Fund, is relying on the NHIF Act that gives him powers to appoint its board as opposed to Kimemia.
Confirming the new turn of events, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) said they have already forwarded three names to the minister.
“We have responded to the Minister’s letter calling on us to nominate members to the board as per the NHIF Act. Knut has nominated three names, two men and one woman for the minister to choose from,” the chairman Mr Wilson Sossian told The Standard on Monday.
“The appointment of a caretaker committee by acting Head of the Civil Service, Mr Kimemia should never have occurred in the first place. The NHIF Act cannot be suspended over the State Corporations Act. Both the President and Prime Minister should have appointed the committee as per the NHIF Act,” he added.
Sossian said as far as Knut is concerned, the mandate of the NHIF caretaker committee expired last week and it has no business staying in office even as it emerged PS Kimemia is planning to gazette their extension for another three months.
“ NHIF is (funded by) contributors’ money and not the Government’s. It was a mistake for a caretaker to have been appointed at the behest of fighting corruption at the fund when their real interest is the money held by the Fund. Should Kimemia go ahead and gazette the extension, Knut will go to court to protect the fund and the scheme,” Sossian explained.
The Kenya Medical Association, another stakeholder, also confirmed it had received Prof Nyong’o’s request.
“We have responded to the minister by nominating a member. We did this by Friday as a matter of urgency,” Dr Elly Nyaim National chairman of KMA said.
Dr Nyaim castigated the caretaker committee and accused PS Kimemia of interfering with the running of NHIF in total disregard of the constitutional spirit.