Activist wants EACC to probe Sh10bn CT scan machines tender
Monday April 24 2023
An activist has moved to court seeking orders to compel the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe the procurement of 37 Computed Tomography (CT) scan machines at a cost of Sh10.2 billion in 2017.
Mr Francis Awino says in a case filed at the High Court that the anti-graft body should thereafter recommend the prosecution of individuals and public officials who were involved in the procurement process.
The activist claims there were massive irregularities in the procurement of the machines and the public was hoodwinked to believe that the machines were included in the Managed Equipment Services (MES) leasing scheme through a government-to-government process.
“An order declaring that the tender awarded to the 1st respondent and the consequent procurement of the CT scan machines was not procured through competitive bidding as required by the laws of Kenya,” he said.
Justice Hedwig Ong’udi directed the petitioner to serve the ministry and EACC with the court documents, who will have 14 days to file their replies.
The case will be mentioned on May 17 for further directions.
Mr Awino says no information was given as to why the Ministry of Health proceeded to procure the machines independently in violation of the existing laws.
The ministry was allegedly made to believe that the procurement was a government-to-government process, where the government was to pay 20 percent, being Sh1.7 billion while the Chinese government was to pay Sh8.5 billion in form of a loan.
He says the contract was allegedly awarded to Megascope Healthcare (K) Ltd, which is linked to businessman Richard Ngatia.
There was no competitive bidding for the contract and the tender was executed through restrictive tendering process. The single sourcing violated section 29 pf the PPDA as there was no open tendering
“Further, no procurement documents were availed as required by the law and in particular, the procurement Act which requires tenders to be evaluated by the evaluation committee of the procuring entity for the purpose of making recommendations to the accounting officer through the head of procurement to inform the decision of the award of the contract to the successful bidder,” he says.
He says there is no evidence that the project was procured in a fair, equitable, transparent and competitive way as required by the procurement & Asset Disposal Act.
“The petitioner avers that no competitive bidding for the contract was done at all as the tender was executed through restrictive tendering process,” he said.
Mr Awino says he wrote to the Ministry seeking the information but he was never given. He says the failure by the Ministry of Health to provide the information as requested and to publicise it in a violation of his right to access information.
“An order compelling the 1st and 2nd respondents to provide, at the respondents’ costs, information sought by the petitioner in their letter to the respondents dated 12th February, 2023,” he said.
He has named CS Health, Megascope Healthcare (K) Ltd, Attorney General, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as respondents in the case.