Mudavadi, churches hit out at State over stolen Kemsa funds
Bernard Gitau and Alvin Kariuki
Amani National Congress (ANC) Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi and Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) yesterday told President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and reprimand those taking advantage of the current Covid-19 pandemic to loot from the public.
Speaking separately, the two took issue with how the government has remained silent even after millions of shillings meant for such a sensitive course was stolen.
In particular Mudavadi urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to establish a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe blatant theft of emergency funds in the Ministry of Health.
Addressing the press at his offices in Nairobi, Mudavadi described the theft of the Covid-19 emergency funds as an unacceptable odour suffocating the country and not only a recipe for failure of the Big Four Agenda but which would certainly , also, deny the President a coveted legacy.
“I condemn this blatant theft of emergency resources and urge urgent arrest of culprits involved,” Mudavadi, a former Finance Minister, said.
“The situation, President, is dire; in the midst of this Covid-19 terror, some have found in our tribulations a source of profiteering through theft, fraudulent procurement schemes and grossly inflated prices. They need to be stopped,” he said.
He said his choice of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry is derived from the fact that the investigative agencies are seemingly overstretched by sprouting tentacles of corruption.
“Traditional action by our investigative agencies does not attract public participation.
Therefore, the nature of overzealous embezzlement inflicted on the health sector overtime - especially the Kemsa heist now - demands that everything be done above board; in the glare of the citizens and with robust public participation,” he said.
Mudavadi stated that the overall results of such inquiry must prescribe a definite, precise and binding action against those found culpable.
“Things have indeed gone awry, and only such inquiry will soften the hearts of our development partners who threaten to abandon us at the hour of our most need because of our insatiable dishonesty,” he said.
He expressed concern that if donors pull out, not only would the country lose Covid-19 support, but also forgo over Sh400 billion for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB, among other life-saving interventions beneficial to the citizens.
Mudavadi said a judicial commission is the best shot to clean the mess in the Ministry of Health because Commissioners enjoy immunity unlike the DCI, Police or EACC who are vulnerable to influence, threats and blackmail by the infamous powerful cartels.
“A Judicial Commission of inquiry is public, conducted in an open and transparent manner.
There is naming, shaming and refutation. This facilitates public participation as required under the Constitution,” he added.
He said the decisions made by the Commission are binding in law; and just as those of a Court, are enforceable on their own without need for further machinations.
“Since only the President has power under the Commission of Inquiry Act to form such a commission, this will help the President to stamp Executive authority on the fight against graft with finality and deflate the lingering insinuations that he is a reluctant fighter of corruption,” he added.
Mudavadi termed Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement’s dismissal corruption claims in the procurement of Covid-19 equipment by Kemsa as a ‘mischievous proposition’.
On their part EAK led by Bishop Mark Kariuki vowed to push the government so hard to ensure that all the looted money has been recovered.
“As Church leaders we are completely tired with corruption. How big is this corruption that we have never seen any action being taken against any individual who has been found guilty?,”asked Kariuki.
Kariuki warned that if the government will not move with speed and act, they may be forced to go the Malawi way where Churches presented one of them them to be elected as President.
“We cannot sit pretty when evil men and immoral men sit down to loot public coffers to fatten their accounts in the plight of Kenyans,” he said.
On his part, Bishop Samuel Maina Michuki a member of the EAK also urged the judiciary to handle corruption cases with the utmost urgency which they deserve.
“It is regrettable that some well meaning donors have already given notice of withdrawing medical aid which was meant to benefit even other diseases like HIV and aids. It’s high time we saw a serious action taken,” he said.