–Amid allegations of graft, the Ministry of Health appears to be playing dirty tricks behind the curtains as it has now emerged that a section of nurse interns haven’t been paid their risk allowances.
– The government had pledged to pay all healthcare workers COVID-19 risk allowances but the same only materialised after the first medic succumbed to COVID-19.
–Ironically at the realm of the ministry, CS Mutahi Kagwe continued behaving normally as he spent millions on tea and mandazi leaving medics grappling with the zoonotic virus.
Amid allegations of graft that have been like consistent dark clouds hanging over the summit of Afya House, it has now emerged that the Kagwe-led ministry has failed to pay nurse interns their COVID-19 allowances.
Mafia House, as it has come to be baptised received monies to totalling to Ksh 3 billion from the National Treasury that was meant to pay all frontline soldiers their COVID-19 risk allowances. However, the ministry waited until the first medic, Dr. Adisa Lugaliki succumbed to COVID-19 before it remunerated medics the said allowances.
A fact remains that Dr. Lugaliki died without receiving a penny for risk allowances.
After three months of patience, the ministry gave in after intense pressure emanating from medics’ unions threatened to paralyse health services countrywide.
The government finally disbursed the funds but in the dying days of last month, only half of nurse interns received their cumulative risk allowances, leaving the rest in anxiety as to when they would receive their pay. But as the clock kept ticking, the unpaid nurses would receive their salaries two weeks later minus risk allowances. All calls to MoH turned out to be well scripted and orchestrated finger-pointing game without a solid clarification as to why it resorted to shortchange the said medics.
And with the graft monster pushing the ministry to the second most corrupt docket in Kenya, one would wonder how and why it was easier to spend Ksh 40 billion in the pioneer days of the pandemic than to channel Ksh 3 billion without delay.
It is in public knowledge that MoH utilized the pandemic to spend millions in tea and mandazi even as the Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe lately hinted of untameable cartels masquerading around the ministry’s headquarters. The weight of Afya House Scandals is getting heavier but Kagwe has shrugged off any calls for resignation.
In recent shocking news, Kagwe admitted that bloodthirsty cartels had drained the national blood bank dry and made a kill by exporting donated blood to Somalia. All this happened when virtually all hospitals in Kenya have a shortage of blood, something that has prolonged hospital stay for patients.
It is also true that women are dying of post partum hemorrhage (PPH) because of lack of emergency blood for transfusion. And yes, it is true that newborns have been left half-orphaned as their mothers succumb to PPH.
But even as medics desperately wait on poetic justice to take its course, perhaps it would be important to note Martin Luther’s words that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Perhaps COVID-19 should have swept all these flamboyant persons that are pulling the graft strings at Afya House for them to realize that matters health are crucial pillars to the stability of the nation.