The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has opened investigations into how the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) chief executive Peter Kamunyo was recruited.
The anti-graft watchdog says it is probing allegations of irregular recruitment of Dr Kamunyo who was appointed as CEO of the national health insurer in April 2020.
Dr Kamunyo took over on April 14, 2020, replacing Nicodemus Odongo who had been in an acting position since November 2018
Mr Odongo replaced Geoffrey Mwangi who was kicked out of the NHIF corner office following allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
“The Commission, pursuant to its constitutional and statutory mandate… is investigating allegations of irregular recruitment of Dr Peter Kamunyo Gathenge, Chief Executive Officer at the National Insurance Fund,” the EACC said in a letter seen by the Business Daily.
Dr Kamunyo’s appointment was announced by the NHIF board through an advertisement in the local dailies.
The search for the NHIF boss lasted two years with the position having been re-advertised in February despite a shortlist of three candidates after a series of interviews was forwarded to former Health minister Sicily Kariuki.
The hiring of Dr Kamunyo made the NHIF one of the few State-backed corporations to hire a CEO within weeks in a country where recruiting for a similar position is normally drawn-out.
In a letter dated October 4, 2022 and addressed to the NHIF chairman Lewis Nguyai, the EACC demands to be furnished with 10 documents relating to the hiring of Dr Kamunyo.
“The commission wishes to verify these allegations and requests that you provide us with certified copies of the lists of shortlisted candidates, shortlisting panel’s report and recommendations, interview panel’s report and recommendation and candidates score sheets,” Patrick Owiny, who signed for commission secretary Twalib Mbarak, says in the letter.
Mr Nguyai was also asked to furnish the anti-graft watchdog with the advertisements for the position of CEO issued in July 2019 and February 2020.
Further, the EACC is asking for academic/professional qualification requirements for the chief executive officer post.
It has specifically asked Mr Nguyai to provide academic and professional qualifications of Dr Kamunyo.
The commission also demanded special board minutes of the meeting held on March 20, 2020, the NHIF Human Resource Manual and the letter that appointed Dr Kamunyo.
It gave the NHIF upto October 11, 2022 to provide the listed documents.
The EACC probe is likely to complicate matters for Dr Kamunyo following a recent vicious board fight over the lucrative secondary school medical cover.
The board in September revealed that it will punish Dr Kamunyo for insubordination over the revocation of contracts for some 17 healthcare providers under the scheme.
Dr Kamunyo said that an audit unearthed irregularities under the Comprehensive Secondary School Students Medical Scheme, known as EduAfya.
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