The Health ministry is open to internal and external scrutiny, with Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu confirming that an ongoing audit has raised questions about how Sh5 billion was spent.
This is in response to a story published by the Business Daily newspaper, one of Nation Media Group’s publications, that Sh5 billion was looted by top ministry officials through manipulation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), diversion of funds, and double payment for goods.
It follows a leaked internal audit report — which the ministry has acknowledged exists — that showed the theft, much larger than the infamous Sh791 million National Youth Service scandal, also involved payments of millions of shillings to phony suppliers in the 2015/2016 financial year.
Dr Mailu says: “The claims are based on an interim audit report which we acknowledge is an ongoing process that was supposedly leaked to the media before the Auditee(s) could respond to the matters raised therein…”
Further, Dr Mailu says the ministry is treating the audit report with the “seriousness it deserves” and that already, the Kenya National Audit Office is “on the ground auditing the ministry [of Health] 2015/16 financial reports”.
“We affirm under no circumstances will the ministry condone any acts of corruption and that the necessary action will be taken at all times to guarantee and preserve the value of taxpayer’s money,” he says.
The statement further says the ministry will communicate the outcome once “the audit process is complete.”