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Governors decry plot to strip them of health function

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 14:52 | By
Council of Governors during a meeting with senators and mps on Tuesday May 28, 2024. PHOTO/ @AnneWaiguru/ X.
Council of Governors during a meeting with senators and mps on Tuesday May 28, 2024. PHOTO/ @AnneWaiguru/ X.

The Council of Governors (CoG) has lamented over what they termed a deliberate scheme to strip them of the health function.

Led by CoG health committee chairperson and Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, the county bosses questioned the motive behind the alleged scheme to accuse counties of being unable to run the health sector.

"There is a deliberate effort to taint counties as being unable to run the health sector, therefore the push to bring it back to the national government," Njuki stated while speaking to a local TV station on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

CoG Health Committee chair Muthomi Njuki. PHOTO/@KenyaGovernors/X.

Njuki called out the national government and the Treasury for failing to remit the funds on time thus crippling the county's health sector.

"This narrative cannot be bought by Kenyans because they have seen what is happening in the health space compared to when we did not have devolution," he added while defending the governors.

The health function was passed to counties following the adoption of the new constitution where governors were granted the mandate to manage the sector.

Governor's take on KEMSA's debt

According to Governor Njuki, the messaging around the debts owed by counties to Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), had the hallmarks of a well-thought-out and executed scheme, keen on painting counties in bad blood.

Njuki added that the governors would honour their obligation to KEMSA if the Treasury releases funds on time.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa). PHOTO/@Kemsa_Kenya/ X.
The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa). PHOTO/@Kemsa_Kenya/ X.

“If the National Government stuck to the law and gave us our resources on the 15th of every month, no county would be having a debt of KEMSA,” Njuki stated.

“A debt is not bad. In fact, the agreement we have with KEMSA allows counties a 90-day repayment period. Doesn’t that marry with the period counties haven’t received their equitable share?”

KEMSA on the other side argue that counties owe them about Ksh3 billion in arrears.

The governors are now asking the national government to honour their end of the bargain and drop the push to taint counties in a bad light.

Their sentiments come days after the doctors called off their nationwide strike after 56 days. Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha announced the end after the medical practitioners accepted the return to work formula.

On Monday, June 3, 2024, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) further clarified that interns who missed their April remuneration will be paid in June.

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