Written by Isura Christoper
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NHIF workers outside the office after they were evacuated after fire broke out in the building a fter a mechanical problenm with its generator. Photo/ Isura Christopher.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has suspended the NHIF board and its Chief Executive for three months, a day after the Medical Services Minister Anyang' Nyong'o had reinstated them.
The PM appointed the Ministry's Deputy Secretary, one A. Adan, as the acting Managing Director.
“Mr Adan Adan, currently the Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Medical Services, will take over as CEO of NHIF, in acting capacity.”
He also appointed a caretaker board composed of Permanent Secretaries and representatives from Cotu and Knut.
Earlier, the acting Civil Service head Francis Kimemia suspended the board and the Chief Executive only later to be reinstated by the medical services minister.
Raila further ordered for a probe to be conducted to unravel the mystery behind it.
“The Efficiency Monitoring Unit, together with a private Forensic Audit firm will commence investigations into the NHIF Fund scam.”
The caretaker board also includes: Prof Mutuma Mugambi-Chairman, Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister the PS, Ministry of State for Public Service, PS Ministry of Finance, and PS Ministry of Labour.
The board will also incorporate representative of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, a representative of the Kenya Medical Association, a representative, Central Organisation of Trade Unions and a representative, the Federation of Kenya Employers.
A statement from the PM said the Central organization of Trade union (COTU), Kenya Nation union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) were involved in the consultations before their representatives were enlisted in the caretaker committee.
He said the caretaker committee will now run the affairs of the health insurance scheme until investigations into alleged malpractices were finalized and new board was put in place.
He however, said the terms and reference of the caretaker committee will be announced later.
The suspension of the board comes after the National Health scheme was dogged with controversies amid claims of impropriety and underhand dealings during the implementation of the insurance policy.
As changes continues to unfold, the Public Accounts Committee chairman Dr Bonni Khalwale has said he will table in parliament a motion of no confidence against the Pro. Anyang Nyong’o over the multi-billion shilling scandal at the NHIF.
Khalwale said after consultations with the committee, they will seek for a special audit into the said payment which will take two weeks before the motion is filed.
Subsequently, the Medical Services Assistant Minister Kambi Kazungu called on President Mwai Kibaki to order a freeze on the new NHIF rates to stop further misuse of public resources. He further noted that, he will expose the corruption in the ministry so as Kenyans to be able to know where the said Sh 400 million is.
Similarly, Monday morning, activities at the NHIF building came to a standstill after what was perceived to be a fire outbreak saw most of the occupants of the building being evacuated before it was confirmed that it was a mechanical hitch at the generator.
This comes a day after the MP for Ikolomani Dr. Bonny Kwalwale called upon the minister for medical Services Anyang Nyongo’s Sacking following the ongoing wrangles in NHIF.
Speaking at a rally in Nakuru, Khalwale accused Prof. Nyongo of being behind the loss of billions in NHIF saying that he knows that the minister receives orders from the prime minister and the premier was obliged to act.
Khalwale questioned the way Anyang Nyong'o was taking the matter lightly and reinstating again the board even after the Head of Public service had sacked the Board. Earlier Prof. Anyang Nyongo accused Kimemia of overstepping his mandate when he sacked the same Board of directors.
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