NHIF bosses arrested for obstructing corruption investigations
Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested two top National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) bosses over ongoing corruption investigations.
NHIF Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Mwangi and the insurer’s chief finance director Wilbert Kurgat were arrested on allegations of obstructing ongoing graft investigations at the insurance company.
The NHIF is reported to have lost Sh93 million after it emerged that a 23 acre parcel of land it claimed to have bought in 2002 actually belongs to a group from the Maasai community.
A police source told Nation.co.ke that the two were seized for denying investigators access to documents and offices at the State agency’s headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
Mr Mwangi and Kurgat were arrested at 2pm in their offices and taken to Muthaiga Police Station. Mr Kurgat is out on police bail. The two will be arraigned on Monday.
In August, Mr Peter David Leparakwo tabled documents before the Public Investments Committee (PIC) of the National Assembly showing that he is the owner of the disputed land in Karen currently valued at Sh1.3 billion.
NHIF was also in the eye of a storm after it emerged that it paid Sh1.4 billion for no work done on the land.
But, when he appeared before the committee, Mr Mwangi was unable to account for the expenditure, forcing the committee to stand him down.
The genesis of the scandal was traced back to 2002 when the public insurance provider claimed acquisition of the land. After the alleged acquisition, NHIF got a survey and drawings done with the intention of putting up a resource centre.
The insurer would then send a team of architects, engineers and consultants to the ground, but they could not do anything after Mr Leparakwo’s group protested. The team was still paid Sh1.4 billion as per their agreement with NHIF, despite doing nothing.
Even after the turn of events, the management of NHIF went ahead to change the concept from a resource centre to the construction of a medical facility before the courts could settle the ownership dispute.
Another team of architects, consultants and engineers would again be sent to the land. This time, the team billed NHIF Sh7 billion, again for no work done.
In the thick of this controversy, there was a change of guard at the health insurer. The new management refused to play ball, forcing the team to move to court.