I don’t know of cartels in MOH: PS Susan Mochache

Health PS Susan Mochache when she appeared before the National Assembly Health Committee at Continental House, Nairobi on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, on Coronaviru issues. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Susan Mochache has denied allegations fronted by Members of Parliament on her involvement with misusing Covid-19 funds in the country.

Speaking on Radio Maisha on Wednesday, the PS has dared those fronting allegations to produce evidence instead of mere talk.

“Those are accusations but no one has come out with proof showing their basis. It is not true that I have any involvement with the funds. I do my work, hospitals bring in their budgets and I forward the requests to the relevant bodies in accordance with the guidelines. Let the investigations take place, “said the PS.

Mochache has further denied knowledge of inflated prices of products at KEMSA saying that if such an activity was ongoing the relevant board in charge of the Institution will take charge but it is not the work of the Ministry of Health to keep daily tabs on the institution.

The Ministry has been on the spot since the pandemic began in the country with different levels of accusation being thrown at it like misappropriation of donated funds.

PS Mochache states that Covid-19 funds are meant for Kenyans and it is a curse to partake of such, citing that it will only bring bad lack to one's lineage.

“I do not know of any cartels in the ministry, however, we have people who do not want to abide by the laws put up by the government. Investigations have commenced and anyone who does not want to abide by the laws will face the consequences.”

Mochache has also defended the Ministry’s position in regard to all donated funds for Covid in the country.

“Amount donated for Covid in the country all of it does not come directly to the Ministry of Health. The virus has disrupted all sectors in the country and the amounts donated have been channeled to different sectors like Kazi Mtaani project. MOH has been given Sh23 billion from the Treasury and it was well distributed. The entire amount has not been utilized, we have budgeted for all the amount and will be utilized in accordance with the laws of the country, “PS Mochache said.

“There are cases where people have tried to take what has been brought to the country but Jack Ma’s donation is something I have no idea. Usually, when consignments come into the country there is an institution in charge recording what is coming and how it will be appropriated. Investigations are underway and if there are people who actually did that the law will catch up with them,” she added.

On Tuesday the PS accompanied by the CS Health Mutahi Kagwe appeared before the National Assembly’s Health Committee to answer questions in regards to disbursement of Covid funds.
The PS reiterates that the amount donated by World Bank has not been misappropriated and has not been fully utilized.
“As a ministry, we do not put all the amount into one thing, we prioritize where the need is high. We have so far used only used Sh400 million and we cannot use the amount until we see it has been well utilized. We are only five months into the pandemic and a lot is yet to be done,” she stated.

“We are focussing on ensuring that oxygen is available in all hospitals in all counties since we have seen that the virus is very severe in some cases and many people end up requiring oxygen. 1.2 billion has been set aside for that and once the installation has been done in all hospitals we will release the amount to pay for that,” she added.

However, despite funds being allocated to cater for essential PPEs for health workers, there is a huge cry from doctors and nurses who are demanding for the key supplies.

“The challenge right now in the hospitals is that all health workers now want PPES even those who have no direct contact with Covid patients citing that they do not know who might be positive or not. The government has released funds to counties to ensure that the resources are available and prioritizing those who are directly in contact with the patients,” Mochache argued.

On Tuesday, 271 people tested positive for coronavirus from 4,019 samples record a sharp decline from last week’s data. However, the PS insists it is too early to conclude that we have started recording a decline in numbers.

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