Uhuru's Legacy Suffers Major Setback

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta's Universal Health Coverage agenda is in jeopardy after moves by the Ministry of Health to cancel a crucial tender on November 18, 2019. File
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big 4 Agenda has been put in risk after the Ministry of Health moved to cancel a tender with a company contracted to provide technical support to his Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.

    Reports from Daily Nation on Sunday, December 1, indicate that the ministry canceled the Ksh4.9 billion contract with an ICT firm identified as the SevenSeas Technology, which had been tasked with the provision of a Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) system under the Management Equipment Service (MES).

    The project entailed the establishment of a hospital information system and supporting the ICT infrastructure to benefit public hospitals nationwide towards the achievement of an e-health system that would have put the country's health system on course to be at par with those in developed countries.

    President Uhuru launches Universal Health Coverage Pilot Program Nairobi, on December 13, 2018.
    President Uhuru launches Universal Health Coverage Pilot Program Nairobi, on December 13, 2018.

    The project also entailed the deployment of Health information systems and supporting infrastructure across 98 county and sub-county referral facilities, including 47 Level 4, 5, and 6 hospitals and four referral hospitals.

    Daily Nation reported that the company was summoned before the senate and a committee investigating the MES project on November 18, 2019,  to explain the delay in the rollout ever since they won the tender in October 2017.

    On the same date, a letter from the Ministry of Health followed, explaining that the tender had been terminated on grounds that some clauses that appeared in the contract were not in the original tender documents.

    The letter also stated that the company had not attached Support Letters from the government, without which, the ministry was in doubt that the project could go on as per the agreement with the company.

    "It is overtly clear to the ministry that your firm lacks the requisite financial capacity to execute the HCIT contract and have been unable to mobilize any funding without a GOK Support Letter,"

    "In the circumstances, the Ministry of Health wishes to now inform you that the contract for the provision of HCIT solutions has and is hereby terminated forthwith, on account of its illegality, which you as the contractor knew or ought to have known," the letter from the Health PS Susan Mochache read.

    The company replied to the letter by the Health PS stating that they regretted the decision to terminate the tender, alleging that they had applied for the government support letters but the ministry had delayed in furnishing them.

    A letter from the Health PS Susan Mochache dated November 18, 2019, informed SevenSeas of the termination of the contract to provide technical support for President Uhuru Kenyatta's Universal Health Coverage Agenda (UHC).
    A letter from the Health PS Susan Mochache dated November 18, 2019, informed SevenSeas of the termination of the contract to provide technical support for President Uhuru Kenyatta's Universal Health Coverage Agenda (UHC).

    The cancellation of the tender poses the risk of grounding the entire Universal Health coverage (UHC) agenda or delaying it and incurring a higher cost to the taxpayer.