I Declare this Officially..Open season
In the past week the sly monster that is corruption reared its ever growing head and body to feast on the nations hard earned money and as we know no group (of people) is safe from this shape shifting, faceless thing. For the last two weeks it has proved itself as having no conscience when it stole from those who build Kenya and who dutifully pay their insurance only to have it taken out from under them by institutions that are supposed to provide them health insurance.
What is now widely known as the NHIF scam began in earnest on Labour Day when the always frank defender of all workers COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli lambasted NHIF for increasing the rates of their insurance premium by 13.1% calling civil servants to mass action come the 14th of May, thankfully for NHIF the Vice President and guest of honour at the speech called for dialogue.
Barely were the public pondering and digesting the events of Labour Day when the proverbial other shoe dropped and corruption was exposed for all to see when it was reported that millions of shillings in medical claims were paid by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to unqualified or non-existent health facilities. Among those the money was dished out to was an organization named Clinix- (even the name is sketchy) that received millions of shillings from the Public Service Scheme that came into being as the year began- and which was registered in the country in June 2006 and is owned by Pharma Investment Holdings; a company the registrar apparently has now record of…
As the scam continued to unfold itself in front of Kenya’s weary eyes government realised it had to take action and they did but first the boards CEO Mr Richard Kerich was sent packing by the board chairman Richard Muga (replacing him with Mr George Midiwo) who also suspended four other high ranking members. Then they were all given the boot by the Civil Service head Francis Kimemia; only to have them re-instated by the Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o .
But Nyong’o’s political ally and friend PM Raila Odinga was seen to not let his friends actions slide when he suspended the board that had just be re-appointed for three months and instead appointing a caretaker committee, he went a step further by ordering a forensic audit into the management of the health insurer. If you thought this was where things cooled down you be mistaken as ministers took issue with the PM’s choice of the Efficiency Monitoring Unit to investigate corruption allegations within the NHIF, claiming that the body is ineffective in investigating matters of corruption and instead asserted that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should have been appointed instead. The heat on the PM was not lessened as both ministers and ordinary Kenyan’s continue to call for him to sack his ODM ally Anyang’ Nyong’o and skew the coalition government numbers game firmly in PNU’s favour.
As is evidence of the past two weeks our ministers and those in positions of power seem to have declared a free-for-all open season on the Kenyan tax payer and her hard earned shillings, and as elections are fast approaching the situation could get worse before it gets better...
The cartoons scattered through out this piece inspird this post! They were published in The Daily/Saturday Nation and The Standard Newspapers.