Khalwale threatens no-confidence motion on Nyong'o over NHIF saga
Posted Monday, May 7 2012 at 13:09
Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale has said he will move a motion of no confidence against Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong'o should investigation reveal fraud in payments made by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to private clinics.
Dr Khalwale, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee –a powerful watchdog committee that tracks government spending—said that he will, in consultation with the rest of the committee members seek a special audit into the controversial payments.
Once that is done, he said, he will rally MPs in moving a censure motion against Prof Nyong’o for failing to stop fraud within his docket.
The scrutiny after a special audit, Dr Khalwale said, will take two weeks after which the motion of no confidence will be filed.
“This is not loose talk. I want to follow the process. So that when the matter finally comes to the House, we can put Prof Nyong’o under pressure,” said Dr Khalwale. “The motion of censure is viable”.
“It does not make sense for MPs who earn Sh1 million a month to pay a maximum of Sh2,000, whereas people who earn very little are supposed to part with almost Sh500. The government raised the amount from Sh320 to Sh2,000. That is over 500 per cent increase. If the government is serious about the healthcare and about implementing the Constitution, they ought to have also raised the pay for workers by the same margin,” said Dr Khalwale.
Medical Services Assistant Minister Kambi Kazungu urged Prime Minister Raila Odinga to fire Prof Nyong’o in light of the emerging saga at NHIF.
Addressing a news conference at Parliament buildings jointly with Dr Khalwale, the Assistant Minister said there was “sufficient evidence” on corruption at NHIF.
The two argued that the Minister’s push to have the scandal probed through the Efficiency Monitoring Unit was a ploy to cover it up.
“The EMU is not an investigative arm. It is just a department in the Office of the Prime Minister. Why didn’t the minister invite the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to investigate the issue? I want him to tell Kenyans why the minister is blocking the investigations,” said Mr Kazungu.
His bane is that the minister not only slighted the President when he rejected the Executive Order by the acting head of Civil Service, Mr Francis Kimemia, which sent the whole NHIF board packing to allow for investigations.
Mr Kazungu insisted that Mr Kimemia was acting with the blessings of the President and that’s why Prof Nyong’o ought to have respected the decision to dismiss the board.
“The President has a duty to speak when things go wrong. He can’t sit back and watch when people are stealing money left and right,” Mr Kazungu added.
Mr Kazungu, who has been on the warpath with his boss over the NHIF scam, insisted that he was kept in the dark as the deal was plotted and executed. He asked President Kibaki to intervene, freeze any scheduled payments, and even stop the proposed increase in monthly contribution to the fund.
“What’s the use of taxing more money for the NHIF when the little that is already there is going into the pockets of individuals?” posed Mr Kazungu.
The assistant minister vowed to expose the corruption in the ministry, regardless of his position on the frontbench and in the backbench.
“I am prepared even to be a backbencher, but I don’t want to be part of a corrupt cartel. The time has come for the guilty to be punished,” said Mr Kazungu.
The Parliamentary Committee on Health has been investigating the scheme's administration questioning how two private clinics received a bulk of the money under the scheme. One of them, Clinix Healthcare receiving Sh202 million compared to Kenyatta National Hospital that received only Sh1 million.