The multi-billion shilling flagship government project to equip county hospitals with modern medical equipment has been shrouded in mystery since its inception five years ago.
Despite gobbling up more than Sh63 billion, the agreement has never been made public, and the real faces behind the deal have never been known.
Access to health care is a critical condition for development in all countries including Kenya.
For this reason, the government resorted to looking for other options for financing the health sector in order to cater to the rising health demand in the country.
The managed equipment services (MES) or leasing of medical equipment was an initiative that the Kenyan government had taken that was rooted in public-private partnership (PPP), whereby the government was partnering with the private sector to scale up investment in health infrastructure.
During the campaign for the adoption of the project, only then-Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto refused to accept the equipment, but his enemies capitalised on it to fight him, occasioning his defeat in the 2017 general election.
“People in Kericho were told that they were dying of cancer because of me. That I had rejected the equipment; I had no choice but to sign,” he said.
Ms Jackline Omogeni, CEO of the Council of Governors, said efforts to access the agreement at the Ministry of Health have been futile, making it appear as if the deal is a secret agreement between the government and suppliers of the equipment.
In Kakamega, the equipment was brought to the Kakamega General Hospital on a Saturday night. Governor Oparanya alleges that he declined but was made to accept under duress.
The governor told the committee chaired by Mandera Senator Mohamed Muhamud that the State machinery mobilised chiefs and their assistants to announce through public through barazas that he had rejected the equipment.
“The chiefs told people that if cancer patients were dying, it was because I had refused to accept the equipment donated to them by the national government,” he said.
Who were behind the project that still remains a mystery and what deals were signed?