President Uhuru Fires Entire Board Over Covid-19 Scandal

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    File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) greeting Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (left) at a public forum in 2016
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  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has pulled a plug on an entire board after corruption scandals rocked the Ministry of Health.

    A Gazette notice on Friday, October 16, indicated that the Head of State dissolved the entire National Quality Control Laboratory (NQCL) board.

    The board had been in a strained relationship with the Ministry of Health headed by CS Mutahi Kagwe since 2019 after fallout over senior staff transfers.

    The affected team of nine members included William Mwatu, John Sitienei, Irene Kamanja, Georgina Muchai, Lilian Balusi, Hellen Okioma, Paul Mutua, Simon Muigai and Edith Wakori.

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    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media outside Afya House in June 2020
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    In June 2020, Chief State Counsel James Mwenda in a memo to Kagwe, accused ministry officials, Pius Wanjala and Ezekiel Chepkwony of corruption and coverups. 

    The eight-page memo which was dated Friday, June 5, implicated the National Quality Control Laboratory (NQCL) Chief Executive Officer, Chepkwony and his deputy Wanjala. 

    The two were accused of standing in the way of ministry officials who were implementing corrective measures to improve efficiency in service delivery. 

    The two were also accused of attempting to stopping the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from conducting investigations into the alleged corruption at the Ministry of Health.

    Wanjala and Chepkwony allegedly breached the Public Officer Ethics Act and the Employment Act Number 11 of 2007 while conducting their duties. 

    Whereas Wanjala is a full-time public officer employed by the Ministry of Health and deployed at the National Control Laboratory, he also working as an advocate of the High Court under Masika & Koross Advocates.

    He was accused of conflict of interest by engaging in private practice during working hours.

    In one of his Covid-19 pressers, CS Kagwe cited frustrations from some of the staff at the Ministry of Health who he claimed were impeding the fight against corruption.

    He claimed that a number of powerful individuals were blocking their reshuffle through court cases even though it was a routine exercise in government ministries across the country.

    "This place (Ministry of Health) has got its fair share of criminals. Like any other market place, there are a few mad cases in here. 

    "The officers that we transferred were not necessarily criminals. That is normal exercise," a visibly enraged Kagwe said.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta bows in prayer during a past ceremony
    President Uhuru Kenyatta bows in prayer during a past ceremony
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