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EACC investigates county hospital over irregular procurement

Baringo County Hospital. [Yvonne Chepkwony, Standard]

The anti-graft agency is investigating irregularities in the procurement of laundry and CT scan machines at the Baringo County Hospital.

The South Rift regional Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) office has written to the hospital to submit 35 documents regarding the procurement of the two machines in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years.

According to the letters dated June 6, 2022, and addressed to the hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Garishom Abakalwa, the commission intends to establish whether the purchase of the machines followed due process.

“The commission through the South Rift Regional office, Nakuru, is looking into procurement irregularities in the purchase of laundry machine,” reads part of the first letter.

The South Rift Regional manager, Ignatius Wekesa, was unavailable for comment. The second letter also addressed to the medical superintendent demanded documents related to the purchase of the CT scan machine.

The letters seen by The Standard showed they were received at the office of the Baringo County Secretary on June 8. The letters did not set timelines for the submission of the documents. Sources within the investigative agency told The Standard the probe was triggered by an online petition by the Baringo County Hospital board chairman Philip Cheptinga in May.

The petition raises issues of omission and commission by previous and current administrations.

According to the petition, key projects like the oxygen plant and a Sh138 million surgical block conceptualised in 2015 have stalled while an MRI and CT scan machines that cost Sh883 million were never delivered to the facility.

Yesterday, the management at the county and officers in charge of the facility remained tight-lipped over the investigations, declining to answer calls and text messages. Governor Stanley Kiptis could not be reached for comment as he was said to be busy with campaigns. 

The County Health Executive Richard Rotich also did not respond to phone calls over the matter.