Sonko accused of refusing to surrender Sh253 million meant for city hospitals

By Hillary Mageka On Mon, 28 Sep, 2020 13:19 | 2 mins read
NMS boss Mohammed Badi and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in Nairobi on August 12, 2020. PHOTO | DAVID NDOLO

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Services is now accusing besieged Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko of withholding up to Sh253 million meant to benefit health centres across the city.

In what NMS has described as Sonko’s habitual feuding with Director-General Mohammed Badi at the expense of service delivery, the former claims City Hall has refused to surrender some Sh127 million at held in a Special Purpose Account at the Central Bank.

According to NMS Director for Health Services, Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, the funds meant to benefit level two and three hospitals are still held by the county and the signatories to the account have not been changed to officers of NMS mandated to execute the function of health.

“These funds are conditional grants that attract penalties when not expended for the correct purpose and when not spent at the correct time,” Dr Mbae told members of the Senate Committee on Health on Monday.

“Other amounts of Sh79 million and Sh47 million meant for user fee forgone for health centres and dispensaries and COVID-19 respectively are still held at the County Revenue Fund Account,” she added.

Health is one of the functions transferred from Nairobi City County to the national government.

Without the ability of NMS to access the funds, Dr Mbae said NMS has been under pressure to execute the Health functions by donors such as DANIDA.

Before the end of the last financial year, she claimed, NMS through its Directorate of Health Services wrote to the Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o not to allow the county government not to dispense off that money.

“We want you (Health Committee) to direct the county government to release the conditional grants funds which they are holding,” she urged the committee chaired by Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito.

“This money is in the county revenue fund while the other one is in the special account held at Central bank, but they (City hall) are signatories but they have refused or failed to facilitate NMS to distribute those resources to health centres, dispensaries and level two and three hospitals,” she added.

Terming it not a big deal, she said the refusal by Sonko’s administration to release the funds is just one of the many disputes between NMS and city hall in a growing list of latest quarrels.

According to her, unavailability of the resources has crippled key health services.

“The Senate should help us by directing that the county government stops holding these funds meant for health facilities which are now under NMS,” she reiterated.

Meanwhile, NMS now blames Sonko’s administration of declining to hand-over a record of all contracts, bills and record of stalled and or on-going projects.

“This has hindered assessment of pending bills, contracted service providers such as security services and completion of stalled projects,” NMS deputy director-general, Kang’ethe Thuku, who represented his boss Mohammed Badi at the meeting with Senators disclosed.

“We want to ask that you direct the county government to release all contracts to NMS because these contracts are now happening under NMS,” Thuku said.

Are you a Kenyan in the diaspora with a story to tell? Do you know someone of Kenyan origin doing something remarkable in the diaspora? Do you have an opinion that you would like to share? Email us at [email protected]