The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) has denied that it sanctioned the conversion of a clinic into a rehabilitation centre for addicts, an issue that has pitted Nyeri MP Esther Murugi against Governor Nderitu Gachagua.
Nacada chairman John Mututho confirmed that when he visited the health facility last year, he found out that the wing the county government wanted changed into a temporary rehab was meant to be a maternity wing. He then disapproved the move.
Mr Mututho who spoke to the Nation after attending the Central Kenya leaders’ meeting in Nyeri asked the county government to instead use the Sh9 million given by Nacada to construct a permanent rehabilitation centre at Ihururu in Tetu Constituency.
“Let me make it clear, at no time did I approve this move. Infact, I clearly and categorically refused and asked the county government not to take this direction,” he said.
Last week, during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s five day stay at Sagana State Lodge, the Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri also said that his office never approved the conversion of a section of the Sh41 million health facility into a rehab.
Dr Muraguri also ordered the county government not to admit more addicts into the facility.
The decision by the two national bodies have now given Ms Murugi a clean win in the almost year-long row.
The county government through its secretary, Alice Wachira and County Health Executive, Dr Charles Githinji had noted that Nacada had offered them Sh6 million to use in renovating and turning sections of Karia and Gathumbi health facilities into temporary rehabs before it constructs a permanent one at Ihururu.
This move by the county government not only angered Ms Murugi, Dr Muraguri and Mr Mututho but also the residents from Karia who held two major demonstrations and even demolished a kitchen used for preparation of food for the addicts.