President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday handed to counties seven ambulances bought with money recovered from a company in the United Kingdom found guilty of paying bribes to get Kenyan contracts.
The money was recovered from Smith & Ouzman that was involved in the Chickengate scandal.
Two executives of the UK security printing were found guilty and jailed for a total of four and a half years for bribing Kenyan election and national examination officials to secure multi-million-shilling contracts.
The company officials were convicted of paying out bribes codenamed ‘chicken’ totalling Sh50 million.
On Monday, President Kenyatta handed the ambulances to Laikipia, Wajir, West Pokot, Kitui, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nairobi counties at State House, Nairobi.
Governors Joshua Irungu, (Laikipia), Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir), Simon Kachapin (West Pokot), Julius Malombe (Kitui), Evans Kidero (Nairobi) and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) received the ambulances on behalf of their counties.
The seven counties have a unique referral system challenges, largely related to remoteness as well as existence of a huge network of primary care facilities in relation to the number of hospitals available to the people.
The ambulance vehicles have been fitted with basic life support equipment to ensure safe transport of patients.
Speaking during the function, President Kenyatta said his government is working closely with the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Jersey on a tripartite agreement, the Framework for The Return of Assets from Corruption and Crime in Kenya
The President said the repatriation of proceeds of corruption arising from the Smith & Ouzman case is a significant step taken by the Kenyan and UK governments in the fight against corruption.
“These Ambulances will go a long way in saving lives and enhancing emergency response services in the selected counties which were in dire need of this support,” said the President.
He said although the process has taken long because of the legal complexities of confiscation and repatriation, the handing over of the ambulances marked an important step in ensuring that the repatriated monies are used to benefit Kenyans.
He said the government has prepared to roll out a new five-year strategy to fight corruption as captured in the Jubilee Manifesto with focus on prevention, recovery and restitution.
The new strategy will include interventions targeting societal change in attitude towards corruption and the adoption of a progressive value system at all levels of the society starting with school going children.
“This is why we have moved to clean up our examinations process and infrastructure,” said the President
Also present were Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich, Cleopa Mailu, Attorney General Githu Muigai and Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Eliud Wabukala.
Source: Daily Nation