June 2018 TheStar; Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri and 13 other government officials are under investigation for possible collusion in a fraudulent scheme to purchase mobile clinics that are lying in waste in Mombasa.
Muraguri, who was then Director of Medical Services, PS Khadija Kassachoom, and directors of Estama Investment Limited are among those who have been sued by the EACC to recover Sh800 million paid for the decrepit portable medical clinics.
Investigators have concluded that there was collusion between Njange Makanga, the director of the disgraced Estama, and several ministry officials including Muraguri and Kassachoom to circumvent procurement procedures.
Although the EACC identifies offences committed and wants the money recovered, no criminal charges have been preferred against the suspected accomplices.
According to the court papers, on 30 June 2016, Khadiagala asked Muraguri, then Health PS to approve relocation of Sh200 million meant for Uhuru’s flagship project – free maternity —for the delivery of portable clinics.
The reallocation, EACC argues, was made without approval of the National Treasury contrary to the Public Funds Management Act, 2012.
The anti-graft agency accuses Kasachoom of allowing the procurement of the portable medical clinics to commence without ensuring that there were sufficient funds.
EACC avers that Makanga, in collusion with officers from the ministry, among them Muraguri and Kassachoon, planned to implement the fraudulent scheme.
The documents also show how senior ministry officials were allegedly bribed by directors of Estama to get the lucrative contract. A different firm owned by Makanga separately wired Sh1.4 million to members of the ministerial tender committee, ostensibly to procure the tender directly.
They include the Head of supply chain management (procurement) Ephantus Maina Thiga and another officer, Kariuki Ireri Njagi.
Maina pocketed one millions shillings while Ireri received Sh400,000 that EACC suspect were kickbacks for fraudulently awarding the lucrative tender through direct procurement
“On 29 July 2016, the 7th defendant, the head of supply chain management at the ministry received Sh1,000,000 from the 2nd defendant vide two cheques of Sh300,000 and Sh700,000 in his bank account no. 01400004160 held at the Family Bank, money reasonably believed to be corruptly received as a favour in the award of the tender,” the court documents state.
“The second defendant is culpable of corruptly giving a benefit of Sh400,000 to the 14th defendant contrary to section 39-3(b) of the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003. The said amount was paid to the 14th defendant as an inducement to show favour in the award of the tender to supply portable medical clinics,” EACC claims.