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Kenya: Khalwale Wants Health CS Kagwe to Resign Over Stolen Covid-19 Cash

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Former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale has called on Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to resign for allegedly having failed Kenyans as a government minister.

Dr Khalwale has asked the CS to take political responsibility and resign so as to pave way for investigations into the alleged embezzlement of a millions of shillings from donors meant to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials at the Ministry of Health and other government agencies like the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) have been accused of abetting corruption by misappropriating money meant to help fight the virus.

Read: Why Global Fund won’t give Kenya grants

Dr Khalwale claimed that CS Kagwe has been presiding over corruption, lading to suffering by Kenyans.

“I want Kagwe to be a good leader. He should take political responsibility by resigning from the current position he is holding. While donors are wiring in money to help contain the pandemic, a few individuals have found a playing field by embezzling it. This is wrong,” said Dr Khalwale.

The former senator, who is now a staunch supporter of Deputy President William Ruto, called for the arrest all people mentioned in the scandal.

Big names

“There are big names that feature in the list of beneficiaries of the kitty. They should be arrested and be arraigned to act as an example and show us that the government is serious in tackling graft,” he said.

Dr Khalwale was speaking in Kimilili Constituency during a meeting MPs allied to the Tangatanga faction which was meant to drum up support for DP Ruto’s bid for presidency.

Dr Khalwale also called on detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to arrest Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati for allegedly embezzling Sh11 million meant to fight Covid-19.

“He embezzled funds through the purchase of expensive jerricans. How can one 20-litre container be bought for Sh10,000? This is pure theft,” he said.

In May, details emerged on the suspected multi-million-shillings scandal that rocked the Covid-19 fight in Bungoma County.

Documents seen by the Nation then reveal how up to Sh6.9 million was withdrawn from the county’s bank account in a single day and handed to county staff who paid suppliers in cash.

But Governor Wangamati maintained that his administration had not embezzled any money and accused his rivals of using his war on Covid-19 to settle political scores.

Responding to the claims by Dr Khalwale, Governor Wangamati, through his Communications Director Tim Machi, termed them as pure nonsense. Mr Machi said the governor would not waste his time responding answering the former senator.

‘Confused politician’

He termed Dr Khalwale as “a confused politician who, after losing his senate seat in the last general elections, retorted to making a living through funny and strange claims and utterances aimed at politically mudslinging other leaders”.

“This is a guy who doesn’t know where his next meal will come from… we will not engage him in his theatrics,” Mr Machi told Nation by phone.

He told Dr Khalwale to give any evidence that he may have regarding his claims to the relevant agencies “instead of making pedestrian statements”.

Also joining Dr Khalwale in calls for Mr Kagwe to resign Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa who called on the Health CS to “smell the coffee, swallow his pride” and step aside over corruption allegations bedevilling his ministry.

“Donor countries have threatened to cut their funding owing to the high level of corruption in the Ministry of Health,” said Barasa.

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