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Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
A local procurement consulting firm at the centre of the controversial Sh63 billion Managed Equipment Services (MES) programme has denied misleading the Health Ministry to procure medical leasing equipment at exorbitant prices.
SPA Infosuv East Africa Limited, a alongside audit firm PKF were picked through a restricted tender by the ministry to carry out a Value for Money assessment that informed the ministry’s choice for the MES project.
Appearing before the Senate Ad hoc committee chaired by Fatuma Dullo, the company chief executive Joseph Ogachi was had pressed to explain how it submitted Value for Money Assessment Report without doing physical verification which counties Health facilities necessities.
Further, Ogachi was unable to explain how they were able to complete an assessment and submit the same only three days after signing the contract.
“You were contracted and signed the contract in October 13, 2014 and four days later you handed in a huge document that required you to carry out an overall assessment of MES in the whole of Kenya to give them an opinion to rely on in four days later, isn’t that curious?” Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula asked.
According to the terms of reference, Infosuv was to take at least 42 days of the assessment before submitting a final report to the ministry.
But Ogachi defended himself and his firm saying although they had 42 days to complete the assessment, the ministry wanted the job expedited.
“We worked overnight and had more resources and staff to achieve it in four days,” he said amid laughter from the committee members.
Senators Dullo(Isiolo), Wetang’ula (Bungoma), Enock Wambua (Kitui) and Millicent Omanga (Nominated) differed saying it was impossible for the firm to complete enormous task in four days and indicted the firm of being part of the scheme to fleece Kenyans millions of shillings.
Dullo questioned why the firm officials failed to visit the counties health facilities to assess their needs before advising the Ministry of Health on value for money.
“You and your partner are part of the connivance to fleece Kenyans their money.
You are part of the fraud because it seems you had been tipped about the tender and worked on it that is why you were able to submit a report, only three days after signing the contract,” Wetang’ula.