The mystery surrounding the controversial Managed Equipment Services (MES) scheme deepened yesterday after Ministry of Health claimed the money used to pay for the equipment is not deducted from county governments. While the Council of Governors (CoG) maintains the leasing of medical equipment is deducted at source from each county government, the ministry maintains the expenditure is captured in its annual budget. In the Division of Revenue Allocation bill (DoRA) and successive County Allocation Revenue Act (CARA), MES scheme is slotted as one of the conditional grants allocations from the National government to the devolved units. Appearing before the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the MES to shed light on the project, Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki discounted the governors\u2019 claims insisting that since the launch of project in 2015, no county has paid a single cent for the equipment as the ministry has always footed the bill. Struggling to clarify \u201cAllow me to tell Kenyans that no single county government is paying a shilling for the leased medical equipment,\u201d CS Kariuki said amid objection from the committee members, who claimed she was lying to Kenyans. \u201cWe cannot allow you to continue lying to Kenyans when we know the whole truth that the money is deducted from the accounts of the 47 counties,\u201d Bungoma senator Moses Wetang\u2019ula protested. \u201cWe cannot allow the citizens of this country to be cheated, no...no\u2026no,\u201d Bomet Senator Christopher Langat. But the committee chair, Senator Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), overruled the committee members pleading with them to allow the CS to finish her submission before they could intervene with their questions. \u201cMembers, she has not even finished answering the first question, let her finish her \u2018cheating\u2019 as you claim, then you can interject. If it is a lie as you are saying, that is her position,\u201d Dullo said However, Wetang\u2019ula, who is also the vice chairperson of the ad-hoc committee differed saying: \u201cIn every DoRA and CARA, this money is part of the allocation to the counties and is part of resources devolved to counties not on the side of the National government\u201d. In her defense, Kariuki said she was struggling to clarify to Kenyans and the Senate that leased medical equipment is a conditional grant and counties were not paying any amount towards its financing. \u201cBut if we bring any discussion on reagents and other items, then counties will be paying for it. The placement for startup and reagents were not paid and it\u2019s not paid to date,\u201d she added. She insisted that the funds allocated to MES is from the National government shareable revenue raised nationally. Nevertheless, the ministry\u2019s stand concurs with the office of the Controller of Budget which revealed that the MES scheme is budgeted through it under the development vote. Conditional allocation \u201cThe controller of budget releases funds to the ministry at the vote level. The MOH as the implementing agency is responsible for execution and implementation of the budget,\u201d Acting Controller of Budget Stephen Masha said when he appeared before the committee. Relying on a letter written by the then Health Cabinet secretary James Macharia, the senators reaffirmed that the MES project was to be funded through county governments conditional grant allocation. \u201cIn turn, the county government will be the leasee whilst the National government will be the principal agent in order to ensure that budgetary allocation to the counties are applied to meet the lease obligations,\u201d CS Macharia said in a letter September 20, 2013.