Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha appeared to throw the acting CEO of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) under the bus, directly linking him to the Sh1.6 billion claims scandal.
When she appeared before the National Assembly Committee for Health on Tuesday, Nakhumicha claimed the acting CEO, Dr Samson Kuhora, was the one in charge of the claims department which is tasked with making the payments in question.
Asked by the committee chairman Robert Pukose whether she had inquired about Kuhora’s previous position before elevating him, Nakhumicha said she was well briefed by her officers prior to the appointment.
“The acting CEO was the senior most officer. The other option available was hiring from outside which would have taken a little longer,” said the CS.
She added: “Bringing in a different person or recruiting someone from outside would have taken longer due to the recruitment process.”
Pukose disagreed with the CS, saying there were more senior officials at NHIF and in the Ministry who could have acted as the CEO.
“You don’t choose someone who has been in charge of claims at NHIF to go out and do a cover-up for himself,” Pukose argued. Kuhora was the Head of Benefits and Claims when he was appointed acting CEO.
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However, President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza allies put up a spirited fight this being the second time that they were facing off with Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance parliamentarians after having won both the first and second readings of the bill.