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MCAs now train guns on Kananu over medical fund

NAIROBI
By Josphat Thiong'o | April 29th 2021

A section of Members of Country Assembly wants investigative agencies to probe acting Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu (pictured) and two county officials over an alleged misappropriation of a medical scheme fund.

Led by Waithaka Ward MCA Anthony Kiragu, the leaders have called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to probe claims that the county has been paying more than Sh652 million in excess of the Sh1.07 billion AAR Insurance Kenya Limited medical scheme contract.

A report by the Auditor General for the financial year ending June 30, 2018, indicates that City Hall made payments totaling Sh1.73 billion to AAR despite the contract sum being Sh1.07 billion.

“Although the total payment made so far to AAR Insurance is Sh1,725, 488,939, no explanation has been given for paying Sh652,786,602 in excess of the contract sum of Sh1,072,702,337,” read the report.

The MCAs also want the county Devolution Executive Member Vesca Kagongo and the Chief Officer for Human Resource Leboo Morintant held accountable for the alleged deaths of 29 City Hall staff between March and April after they failed to access treatment due to a delay in disbursing insurance funds.

“We have seen the executive playing games with the health cover of staff and the county has lost 29 staff members because they could not access the medical cover. Some county officials are trying to make money from the AAR contract,” said Kiragu.

He also claimed the payments were being staggered by the county to allow certain individuals to do business with the funds. Minority Whip Peter Imwatok accused the top county leadership of abandoning their mandate of protecting the rights of city residents.

Majority leader Abdi Guyo had earlier stated that the assembly will establish an ad hoc committee to investigate the health insurance contract.

But Finance Executive Allan Igambi blamed the delay to settle the premium on late passage of the 2020/21 budget. He said the county would pay the balance to AAR by May 3.

When contacted, Kananu refuted the allegations by Kiragu, terming them as mere propaganda.

“We have our payment plan with AAR and as we speak we are up to date. They do not have the facts to support their allegations. No one can use or divert county money for personal business as it is not allowed by the law. If they wanted an issue addressed, there are set out ways of complaining but not through the media,” she added.

Kananu urged the MCAs to take up the issue with the Labour and Finance committees which handle the AAR issue or refer it to the finance department.

“The MCAs raising these allegations are those that had links to Governor Mike Sonko and they are now trying to frustrate my administration,” she stated.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Service plans to shift the medical cover to the National Hospital Insurance Fund once the AAR contract lapses on June 30.

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