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Cleaning firm and hospital tussle over Sh6m debt

By Julius Chepkwony | May 5th 2020
Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital is on the spot over a Sh6 million bill claimed by a cleaning services company.

Documents obtained by The Standard reveal the facility owes Gardens and Weddings Centre Limited the money for services it rendered between 2017 and 2019.

Gardens and Weddings Centre CEO Daniel Gathogo claims the facility has declined to pay him his dues amounting to Sh6,265,546.

“The Medical Superintendent ignored our letters and plea for payment and could not give reasons why he failed to pay,” said Gathogo.

Medical Superintendent Joseph Mburu, however, denied the claims.

Dr Mburu said if the cleaning firm has an issue with the hospital, it should go to court.

“Let them prove it through invoices delivered, but not through moving from one issue to another. If there is a case then it’s not connected to the tendering process and should be taken to a civil court,” he said.

Mburu said the contract was clear and they have executed it accordingly. He, however, declined to say whether the payment was made or not.

He said the report on whether there was a payment or not will come from the accounts office after reconciliation of the books.

Documents seen by The Standard show that the firm on December 24, 2019, through Karugu Mbugua and Company Advocates, wrote three letters to Dr Mburu, seeking payment.

In one of the letters, the cleaning company sought for over Sh4.7 million for a contract signed in August 2017.

The contract was terminated in August 2019 and the hospital is accused of failing to honour the company’s invoices for the months of May, June, July and August 2019.

“You entered into an agreement with our client for provision of Comprehensive Cleaning Services at your facility, the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital in 2017.

“The said contract was terminated on August 31, 2019 and you have failed to honor our client’s invoices for the months of May, June, July and August 2019 amounting to Sh4, 772,221.44,” read one of the letters.

The letters indicated that the facility owed the cleaning company another Sh581,512.64 for the cleaning of sanitary accommodation facilities. 

Additional Sh911,818 is owed to the company for comprehensive cleaning services at Margaret Kenyatta Mother Baby Unit and toilets and Nyayo wards.

“Kindly make out all remittances to our client within seven days of the date hereof, failing to which we are instructed to commence legal proceedings against you without further reference to you, and at your risk as to costs and other sequel consequences arising there from,” read the letter.

The firm on March 17, 2020 also wrote to the Commission on Administration of Justice, seeking their intervention on what they term unlawful termination of their contract.

The company says the contract was terminated without notice and the hospital procured services from another provider.

The firm now says since the termination of the contract, the hospital has continually used their equipment and prohibited their employees from accessing them.

The equipment include floor scrubber and polisher, two wet and dry suction machines, 150 mopping buckets, 300 mop heads, 100 hard brooms, 100 soft brooms and 20,000 bin liners.

In a letter dated January 7, 2020 and addressed to the Medical Superintendent, the cleaning firm wanted the hospital to admit liability for unlawful termination of their contract and unlawful use of their equipment. 

The hospital, however, maintains it hired its own cleaners and purchased its own equipment.

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