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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 18 January 2015

Sharks fight for mouthwatering NHIF cards tender

The fate of a whopping Sh1billion tender to print digital medical cards for the National Hospital Insurance Fund hangs in the balance after the management of the Fund together with its board of directors differed and failed to agree on who to award the lucrative tender.
NHIF chief executive officer Simeon Ole Kirgotty who assumed office in February last year has now been caught in the thick of United Republic Party and The National Alliance   power-sharing deals, with businessmen from both the political divide demanding to be given the money-spinning tender.
Also embroiled in the issue is the NHIF board chairman Mohammud Ali who is also now said to be at crossroads as to whether the tender should be cancelled or whether to play the TNA, URP politics.
Sources say the controversial contract has created divisions in the top NHIF management as reports indicate that businessmen allied to TNA and URP are flexing muscles and claiming the right to clinch the tender.
Health cabinet secretary James Macharia is also said to have been caught in the web of the tender row. We have information of firms and identity of the businessmen fighting over the tender.
Last year, Macharia warned that the government was not happy with the way the NHIF was being run and managed. Macharia said he had embarked on a “serious reform agenda” to clean up the health insurer and other institutions under his ministry’s portfolio.
 “We are not happy with the state of affairs in this ministry and the institutions under it. I am in the process of reforming them and this will affect the structures, appointment procedures and personnel,” Macharia said.
The current board is chaired by Mohammud while other members are Elly Opot (Kenya Medical Association-KMA),  Akello Misori (Cotu),  Nichola Muraguri (director of Medical Services/ministry of Health), Mary Maungu (alternate to PS/ministry of Devolution and Planning) and Michael Sande (Christian Health Association of Kenya).
Others are Wilson Sossion (Knut), Catherine Muriithi (National Council of NGOs), Elijah Onyango (Kenya National Farmers Union), Gilda Odera (Federation of Kenya Employers) and Thomas Maara (Association of Kenya Insurers).

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