DCI orders fresh probe for Seven Seas Sh4b contract
Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti has opened a fresh probe into the controversial termination of the Sh4.9 billion contract awarded to Seven Seas Technologies Limited for the provision of Health Care Information Technology (HCIT) to support the Managed Equipment Services programme.
The new details came on the day that Senate ad hoc committee that is investigating the Sh63 billion MES project summoned Attorney General Paul Kariuki and outgoing Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki to appear before it on Thursday next week to shed light on the matter.
The committee, which was grilling Kariuki, said it has summoned the two after it emerged that the government was likely to lose billions of shillings following the termination of the contract.
According to the contract, the government is supposed to pay 80 per cent of the total contractual cost if the deal is terminated.
“We want you to appear together with the AG in person next week Thursday. This is because the contractor has said that he is entitled to 80 per cent of the contractual sum if the contract is terminated,” said Committee chairperson Fatuma Dhullo.
The project, whose five-year contract was signed on October 2, 2017, was supposed to interlink all the 98 Level Four hospitals and above covered under the MES programme.
Dullo told Kariuki and Permanent secretary Susan Mochache, who was also present at yesterday’s session, to appear in person before the committee as the contractor had raised serious issues that they are the ones blocking him from implementing the project.
The claims came after the ministry, through Mochache, terminated the contract with Seven Seas on grounds that they did not have financial capacity’ to implement it.
Kariuki, who declined to divulge the circumstances that led to the pre-mature end of the deal, saying the matter was under active investigation by the DCI, told off the contractor over his allegation, claiming he was playing politics to settle scores on her and the PS.
Seven Sea’s founder and chief executive Michael Macharia, who welcomed the probe into the deal, accused ministry officials of grabbing the contract from him.