REPUBLIC OF KENYA

MINISTRY OF HEALTH PRESS STATEMENT

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Ladies and gentlemen: good afternoon, and thank you for coming.

Earlier in the week, we committed to Kenyans, and to the media, that we would come back to you, to give you more information, and to explain matters which are now in the public domain. That’s because we take our mission seriously. Kenyans work hard for their money. They trust that in return for their taxes, we will take care of their health, we will spend their money prudently, and we will be accountable to them. Today is all about accountability.

I’d like to inform you, and members of the public, that we have invited the EACC, the DCI and Kenya National Audit Office (KENAO) who have dispatched their teams to the ministry to carry out investigations on all the matters raised in recent reports.

First, as some of you will know, internal audit is a management function. In the first instance, the audits are addressed to management, raising queries, and asking for responses to them. The reports generated are intended to point out strengths, and potential problems, and to help management in its tasks. One of those tasks is the management of public funds. Within government, the internal auditor undertakes the audit on behalf of the National Treasury.

Second, it is my duty to lead the Ministry of Health. I understand that clearly; that is why I commissioned the audit myself. As I said earlier, media reports of the leaked internal audit report did not include replies to the queries it raised. This is so even when the relevant documents are publicly available. We in the Ministry expect to be held accountable. That is why I am here.

Third, let us trace out a small part of the audit journey. Clarification was sought on the question of supplementary estimates appropriated for the financial year 2015/16.

Did the estimates meet the procedural requirements set out in the Constitution, in the Public Finance Management Act, and in relevant regulations? Yes, they did.

As is procedure, the Ministry asked the National Treasury for extra funding on 30th November and 16th December 2015. The National Treasury gave its approvals on 26th February and 14th March 2016, and the National Assembly approved the additional funding through supplementary estimates for 2015/16.

These requests and approvals are part of the public record.

Ladies and gentlemen it is clear, therefore, that the supplementary estimates requested, in the amount of KSh 865,795,750, were approved and appropriated as provided for by the Public Finance Management Act, and other relevant law.

Let me give some examples of projects to which the money went. KSh 100,000,000 went to Lamu County to expand health services at the King Fahd Hospital; as we speak today, the new building in Lamu is being roofed. Another KSh 100,000,000 went to Bungoma County to refurbish Bungoma Level IV Hospital, and to expand its maternity and child unit.

This money was appropriated according to law and procedure, and it has made a direct difference to the lives of ordinary Kenyans.

Fourth, the fact of the matter is that we in this Ministry take a dim view of corruption and mismanagement. Further, we fully appreciate the heavy responsibilities with which Kenyans have entrusted us, and we remain wholly committed to meeting our mandate. First-class healthcare and value for money remain our objectives. So, I ask Kenyans to bear with us, and the other agencies of government that are dealing with the matter, as we determine the facts.

On our part, we have started, and will continue to aid their work, for I believe the outcome of this exercise will leave the Ministry even stronger.

Asanteni.

 

 

Dr. Cleopa Mailu, EBS

CABINET SECRETARY

28th October 2016