All counties signed medical equipment deal except Bomet - Mailu

Only Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto has refused to append his signature to the deal - Health CS

Friday March 25 2016

Bomet County Governor Isaac Ruto before the Senate Finance Committee on January 26, 2016. All governors except one have signed contracts with the national government for the leasing of modern medical equipment worth Sh38 billion.. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Bomet County Governor Isaac Ruto before the Senate Finance Committee on January 26, 2016. All governors except one have signed contracts with the national government for the leasing of modern medical equipment worth Sh38 billion.. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
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All governors except one have signed contracts with the national government for the leasing of modern medical equipment worth Sh38 billion.

Only Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto has refused to append his signature to the deal, according to the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.

The CS told senators on Thursday the equipment was on the way and delivery was expected to be completed by end of June.

He said the ministry had received support from the county bosses as it pushes for the equipment to be delivered to the devolved units.

"We are happy that 46 governors, except the Bomet governor, signed the contract to lease the equipment. There was a consultative process for their acquisition. It was an open tendering process," said Dr Mailu.

'TAKEN A RISK'
Despite Mr Ruto's refusal, the ministry has gone ahead to supply the equipment to hospitals in Bomet without the governor's signature.

It is not clear who and how the repayment would be done but the CS said they had "taken a risk" to equip hospitals in Bomet.

The idea for the acquisition of the equipment that would be leased for Sh38 billion over the next seven years was floated when Mr Ruto was still the chairman of the Council of Governors.

The governor vehemently opposed the idea, although some of his colleagues, including Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, supported the idea.

"The governor did not sign but allowed us to equip the hospitals identified. The people of Bomet are going to benefit from the medical equipment like other Kenyans in other counties that have signed the contracts," added the CS, who appeared before the Senate Health Committee to respond to senators' concerns over the equipment.

The committee invited other House members to the meeting held at the Senate's chambers.

Bomet Senator Wilfred Lesan welcomed the ministry's decision to overlook the governor's refusal, saying the county residents feared they may not benefit from the lease.

"There was so much pressure from the people of Bomet for the contract to be signed by the governor. It is their desire to have the equipment in their county," said Prof Lesan.

REDUCE PRESSURE

Other senators were happy that their governors had appended their signatures despite earlier threats not to do so.

They said the equipment would reduce the pressure on the referral hospitals that are already overcrowded.

"Some governors wrote to the Senate complaining that they were not consulted but I am surprised that as many as 46 have signed. Some told us that they had already bought some of the equipment they were being asked to lease," said Kisii Senator Christopher Obure.

The CS said the equipment will be in the counties by end of June. He, however, said some counties like Lamu, which has had to construct new buildings to house the equipment, may have to wait until August.

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