Now Nyong’o lifts sacking of NHIF bosses
Posted Sunday, May 6 2012 at 22:30
Medical Services minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o on Sunday reinstated the NHIF board and its chief executive who were sacked by acting Civil Service head Francis Kimemia.
Board chairman Richard Muga remains on suspension, he said. But Mr Kimemia late on Sunday night warned the sacked officials to keep away from the NHIF premises.
“The suspended team should stay away from the offices,” said Mr Kimemia in a brief but terse statement to newsrooms.
Mr Kimemia also froze any transactions between NHIF and the firms that benefited from the Sh4.2 billion medical scheme for civil servants.
“The government has suspended financial transactions involving NHIF payments to any of the firms. This follows the decision to suspend the board to allow investigations...this should allay fears and restore public confidence,” he said.
Mr Kimemia sent the board packing on Saturday to pave way for investigations into alleged malpractice at the national health insurer. (READ: Troubled NHIF Board suspended)
This came amid reports that 33 medical facilities owned by Clinix Healthcare Limited that was given Sh202 million for treatment of civil servants had not been licensed by January 20.
Clinix is one of the two health providers MPs said did not have the capacity to serve civil servants.
On Sunday, Prof Nyong’o said Mr Kimemia had no powers to “micro-manage” his ministry.
“I want to state very clearly, as the Minister for Medical Services, that the status quo remains following my decision on Thursday.
“The board and the CEO are under instructions to continue with their work without any interference by any other person,” he told journalists in Nairobi on Sunday.
He wondered why Mr Kimemia had not taken similar action when the Kenya Ports Authority, De La Rue and the National Housing Corporation were embroiled in scandals.
“Similar allegations have been made in other ministries in this government and I have not seen Mr Kimemia taking over the responsibility of the ministers,” he said.
Prof Nyong’o claimed Mr Kimemia acted after meeting with Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary-general Francis Atwoli, Prof Muga and his assistant minister Kambi Kazungu. (READ: Take responsibility over NHIF saga, Nyong'o told)
He said the three alleged the new NHIF rates were a scheme by ODM to raise money for its election campaign. The minister said he was also accused of conniving with NHIF chief executive Richard Kerich to embezzle funds.
On Thursday, there was drama at NHIF when Mr Kerich was sent packing by Prof Muga, but was reinstated minutes later by Prof Nyong’o. (READ: NHIF boss is sacked in day of high drama)
Prof Muga also suspended four other managers and appointed Mr George Midiwo, a brother of Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, to act as CEO.
But Prof Nyong’o revoked the orders and instead suspended Prof Muga. Mr Kimemia suspended Mr Kerich and the board in what he described as an attempt to restore order.