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Lobby Group Seek To Have Richard Ngatia’s Sh10B CT Scan Disputed Tender Investigated

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Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Richard Ngatia, who is allegedly linked to Megascope Healthcare Ltd, the firm that got the tender in dispute.

AREAS OF CONCERN

Although one machine was to cost Sh75m, the price was later varied to Sh235m.

Health ministry and the public may have been made to believe the procurement was a government-to-government arrangement between Kenya and China.

Contract was executed through a restrictive tendering process and no procurement documents were made available.

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Queries raised on which company was visited by a committee conducting due diligence at the ministry.

Queries on irregular procurement of Sh10.2 billion computed tomography scanners (CT scanners) associated with Megascope Healthcare, a firm linked to Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Richard Ngatia, have once again resurfaced.

This is after a civil society group asked for forensic investigations into the tender.

In a petition, Frank Awino of Human Rights Crusaders — under Concerned Citizens, Kenya, a civil society organisation — calls for investigations into the tender.

He says the procurement of 37 CT scanners was a gross violation of Article 227 of the Constitution and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act and should not be allowed to “just slip away.”

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Awino, in the petition, notes: “There is overwhelming evidence of grievous irregularities and circumventing of the law in procurement of the CT scanners”.

The petition is copied to National Assembly Clerk Samuel Njoroge, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission boss Twalib Mbarak, and Directorate of Criminal Investigations Amin Mohamed.

Prosecution plea

It calls for a probe into the matter and prosecution of those found culpable.

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The petition says there is overwhelming evidence of irregularities in how the tender was awarded.

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Article 227 (1) of the Constitution provides that when a State organ, or any other public entity, contracts for goods or services, it shall do so in accordance with a system that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.

The contract signed on August 21, 2017, states that the Kenyan Government pays 20 per cent of the contract sum of Sh1.7 billion, with the Chinese government — through China Development Bank — financing the balance of Sh8.5 billion in loans, to be paid by the Kenyan Government.

The supplier was required to purchase, install and maintain the scanners in hospitals identified by the Ministry of Health for five years.

Although one machine was to cost Sh75 million, documents presented to Parliament revealed that the price was varied to Sh235 million, over three times the initial cost, signaling misuse of public funds.

In his petition, Awino wants the investigative agencies to look at issues such as: The CT scan machines were not included in the managed equipment services (MES) leasing schemes, nor was an explanation made to the public as to why the Ministry of Health procured the same independently, besides violation of procurement laws.

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False belief

According to the petition, the Ministry of Health and the public may have been made to believe the procurement was a government-to-government arrangement between Kenya and China.

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“Instead, the contract was awarded to Megascope Healthcare, whose directors are Richard Ngatia Waweru and Charles Ngungi Njenga; and not Neusoft Medical Systems,” reads the petition.

It adds: “Further, there was no competitive bidding for the contract, since it was executed through a restrictive tendering process, and the beneficiaries could themselves, or through their agents, have induced the heist.”

It also argues that no procurement documents were made available, as by the law, and in particular section 58 which requires tenders to be evaluated by a committee of the procuring entity for the purposes of making recommendations to the accounting office through the head of procurement.

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At a loss

The petition comes after the National Assembly adopted the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report that considered the audited accounts of the Ministry of Health, and was at a loss as to which company was visited by a committee conducting due diligence at the ministry.

“As observed by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report, it is not clear which company the Ministry of Health inspection team — which went to conduct due diligence on the CT scan manufacturer — visited. The report presented to PAC referred to Neusoft Medical System, Pensoft Medical System and Natursoft Medical Systems, alternately and variously”, reads the petition.


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