MPs threaten to impeach health CS Kariuki over NYS scam

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki (centre). [Jenipher Wachie/Standard]
Five MPs now want Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki to immediately step aside over the loss of Sh9 billion at the National Youth Service (NYS).

The lawmakers said that if the CS, who was in-charge of Public Service docket when the scandal that is being investigated now unfolded does not step aside, they will launch a process to impeach her.

The MPs, Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Moses Kirimi (Imenti Central), Abdikarim Osman (Fafi) and Bashir Abdullahi (Mandera North) who spoke at a press briefing at parliament on Thursday, said there should be no sacred cows in the fight against graft.

 “This is now the second theft involving millions of shillings at NYS, we are still wondering what the CS is still doing in office. She should take political responsibility,” explained Mr Osoro.

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Already, 22 suspects including the suspended Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lilian Mbogo Omollo and NYS Director General Richard Ndubai have been charged in connection to the multi-billion scam.

Mwale said it was unfair to charge PS Lilian Omollo and other persons who called shots at NYS and let CS Kariuki go scot-free.

“Why is that the CS has not been touched to date in regards to the scandal? If we are serious we want to win the war against corruption, then we must go for the big fish not only parading small fish in court.  CS Kariuki must resign. This should happen like yesterday,” said   Mr Mwale.

Mr Kirimi said there is no way Sh9 billion can be lost and yet the minister who was in charge of the docket is not even questioned by the police.

“As a CS there is no way she can escape responsibility.  She should tell detectives what she knows and even record a statement.  Nothing that can happen in the ministry without the knowledge of the CS,” he said.

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Mr Bashir said while there was political good will to fight graft from the top political leadership more needed to be done to slay the vice.

  “We fully support state and constitutional agencies to eradicate graft. Even as we do it, let’s not lose focus on big fish,” Bashir reckoned.

In case the MPs make good their threat and institute a process to impeach CS Kariuki, this will be the second attempt by legislators this year to impeach her.

In March, the Jubilee leadership had to come to her rescue after they prevailed upon MPs from the party to drop censure motion against Health CS, which had already received a nod of 170 lawmakers.

Ms Kariuki had attracted the wrath of MPs after she suspended Kenyatta National Hospital boss Lily Koros after doctors at the institution performed brain surgery on the wrong patient.

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They also accused her of interfering with the recruitment process of Kenya Medical Supplies Agency chief executive officer.

The Constitution requires at least a third (116) of the 349 lawmakers to sign an impeachment motion to meet the required threshold.

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