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Ex-NHIF bosses among 18 charged with Sh500m loss

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By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Some 18 suspects, among them former National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) CEOs Geoffrey Gitau Mwangi and Simon Kirgotty have denied a total of 17 counts in the alleged loss of over Sh500 million.

Mr Kirgotty denied seven counts including abuse of office, wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of public funds and wilful failure to comply with procurement procedures.

The court heard that he conferred a benefit by authorising payment of over Sh545 million to Webtribe Limited, a company contracted to collect payments on behalf of NHIF.

Mr Mwangi is alleged to have extended the contract and authorising payment, which might have led to loss of funds at NHIF.

Other suspects facing charges in the case include the directors of Webtribe, Danson Muchemi and Robert Muriithi, who denied fraudulently receiving more than Sh1.1 billion from NHIF.

Audit committee members Mudzo Nzili, Yussuf Ibrahim and Elly Nyaim denied a charge of breach of trust when they allegedly approved the extension of the contract.

The prosecution led by Assistant DPP Emily Kamau did not oppose to the release of the suspects on bail but urged the court to impose strict bond terms.

Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda, speaking on behalf of other lawyers representing the suspects, urged the court to grant them lenient bond terms, arguing that services were rendered and that it is not alleged that any of the suspects stole the funds.

Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti was set to rule on the matter at 2.30pm Monday.

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