Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Chairman Richard Ngatia is a short, diminutive guy whose personal presence (or lack thereof) usually doesn’t allow him to dominate any room that he walks into.
However, he did manage to take over from Kiprono Kittony as Chairman of this “membership-based trade support institution (TSI) working to protect commercial and industrial interests of the Kenyan business community”.
Ngatia is best known for his ownership of the Galileo Lounge in Nairobi, a premier entertainment joint on Waiyaki Way, which has, uncharacteristically, maintained consistently high standards for years.
On most Wednesday evenings, Ngatia blocks off the VIP section and proceeds to host high-level dignitaries and close friends, while being entertained by top one-man-guitar cum country music artiste, Sir Elvis.
Those often seen in Ngatia’s company include abrasive Jubilee boss David Murathe, long-time Uhuru Kenyatta aide Njee Muturi, Jeff Koinange, the depressing Eugene Wamalwa, and Uhuru Kenyatta private secretary Jomo Gecaga.
You would not be inaccurate to posit that Ngatia is a member of Uhuru Kenyatta’s close circle of friends, those known to have unfettered access to the Kenyan head-of-state and who use this proximity to pummel through their business interests and very likely, influence short and medium-term Government policy and expenditure in their own favor.
One of the most treasonable deals executed by the Uhuru Kenyatta Government must be the Ksh. 38 billion medical equipment lease deal, whose full impact is currently being felt by Kenyans as they wrestle with the COVD-19 coronavirus which has since reached pandemic levels globally.
The so-called “Managed Equipment Services deal” with international companies sought to supply, install, maintain, replace, and dispose of various equipment in at least two hospitals in every county at Ksh. 38 billion.
Five international companies that won the MES tender include General Electric, Philips, Bellco SRL, Esteem, and Mindray Biomedical Company. They were to supply and equip hospitals countrywide with more than 95 high-tech machines to help manage diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
For some reason, the cost of the equipment cost counties Ksh. 200 million annually which has been deducted from their annual expected remittances by Central Government, which totals Ksh. 9.4 Billion annually.
This was a 100%+ bump-up from the initial Ksh. 4.5 Billion Contracted annually.
Governors were either too busy stealing county funds, shagging anything in a skirt or committing murder to pay any attention to central Governments taking away their county funds through the Ministry of Health, and then transferring these funds to pockets of individuals.
Anecdotally, in the run-up to the 2013 General election, the Kenyatta family had reached out to the Ndegwa family for financial assistance, which they actually received, with the quid pro quo that Uhuru Kenyatta (once elected) would automatically hire James Macharia to be the Minister for Health.
Macharia was by then a long-time CEO for NIC Bank and a close confidante of the Ndegwa family. His insinuation into the Health Ministry was ostensibly to channel as many of these deals to the family.
For those not in the know, this relationship was formally consummated in the recent buyout of NIC Bank by the Kenyatta’s Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) to become the behemoth, NCBA, whose assets now make it the 3rd largest bank in Kenya.
To illustrate just how convoluted the minds of the Kenyatta’s and their allies really are, in one of his last acts as Finance Minister, the disgraced Henry Rotich gazetted a waiver of more than Ksh. 350 million in share transfer taxes on the merger deal.
What makes this decision a concoction of the most depraved mind is the fact that there was no public interest to be served by exempting the merged NIC Group PLC (NIC) and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which are private profit-making entities, from paying the share transfer tax dues.
The Kenyatta inner circle of hoodlums, most of whom preen with pride at being called corrupt and ruthless, meet regularly at Galileo Lounge, from whence they show the rest of Kenya the proverbial middle finger while sipping their expensive whiskeys, looking down on us for our poverty which they earnestly believe is an apparent byproduct of our lack of brains.
But, it is at the Health Ministry where the Kenyatta’s and their cronies have found safe haven, to execute the most elaborate finance heists and scams, while inadvertently placing the very lives of the millions of Kenyans in mortal danger.
We all remember the use of the so-called mobile containers importation scam by Uhuru Kenyatta’s sister, to bring in fully kitted, ready-to-go medical containers to serve as hospitals in some of the most remote areas of the country.
Not only were the container prices grossly over-inflated, but they had also been paid for in advance and on a cash basis to the tune of Billions of shillings in what later came to be known as the Mafya House scandal.
Without shame, the Kenyatta’s dumped the containers somewhere in Mombasa where they have rotted away unutilized for more than 5 years.
The trigger man at the Health Ministry at the time was PS Nicholas Muraguri who facilitated this deal, and who, when the scrutiny intensified was quickly spirited off to the Lands Ministry, where he continues to personally serve the Kenyatta kakistocracy by overseeing their mind-boggling and obscenely large landholdings.
But that is not where this mad caper ends, at the Galileo Lounge, a plan was concocted to have one more large bite of the medical containers cherry.
Kenyatta loyalists had been eyeing the Sports Fund for a while, incapable of ignoring the mounting contributions to its kitty from the top betting companies Sportpesa and Betin.
The Sports Fund is a product of the Sports Act 2013, which had always been set up to fund sports activities in the country, including but not limited to, the National Olympics and other teams in international assignments.
Unable to understand how something as insignificant as Sports could be allowed an allocation of funds in the billions, a plan was concocted by the Galileo Lounge group to amend the Sports Act 2013 to allow them to tap into this fund.
So despite the presence of court orders and open opposition to the plan, the Galileo group in 2018 arranged with MPs to quietly expand the wording of the Act, enlarging the Sports Fund to become the Sports, Art, and Social Development Fund.
By expanding the Fund, Uhuru Kenyatta appointed the now 93-year-old Moody Awori to chair its board, alongside the PSs of Education, Arts, Health, National Treasury, and Sports.
The only Sports person left in the board is Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei of Athletics Kenya, a dinosaur with most of his best days behind him than ahead of him, and who appointment to the Fund board cemented Uhuru Kenyatta’s continued militarization of Government with the preference of military men in key positions, men who live by the credo of “yes sir” and following orders without question.
This would ordinarily not be a problem, had the Kenyan military always handled itself with professionalism, we all remember the shocking images of soldiers looting from inside Westgate in 2013, the massacre of KDF bases in El Adde in 2016 and a repeat of the same at Kulbiyow in 2017 despite documented evidence that KDF already had intelligence of enemy activity nearby, beforehand.
All these senior military officers that Uhuru has been placing in senior civilian roles come from a system that has shown a high level of incompetence in the execution of its military roles… go figure!
The very first act by Moody Awori and his board was the release of Ksh. 1 billion to the company associated with Uhuru Kenyatta’s sister (again) in the procurement and delivery of the medical containers.
The pretext here was that these containers needed to be cleared urgently and commissioned, and the money was released under the social development arm of the now-expanded Act.
We further posit that the containers have never been moved from where they were dumped, despite the release of the Ksh. 1 billion.
Meanwhile, Sports continues to languish in dire financial straits, these Kenyatta’s are truly an accursed lot and a bane on Kenya.
Galileo Lounge owner Richard Ngatia is also the high priest of medical supplies in Kenya through the Governmental Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) which is a state corporation under the Ministry of Health established under the KEMSA Act 2013 and “which provides reliable, affordable and quality health products and supply chain solutions to improve healthcare in Kenya…”
The greatest cause of distress during this COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya revolves around the well-known fact that we lack the medical capacity to handle a full-blown infection.
First World countries’ capacity has been outstripped and doctors are having to choose whom to give emergency medical care, and whom to let die.
Ngatia had been ready for the coronavirus outbreak since January, by using his access to high-level international intelligence that is available to the Kenyan Presidency, he, therefore, imported a lot of the testing kits and PPEs that would be critical, before the lockdown of airspace around the World.
Currently, Kenya has 10s of thousands of testing kits in the country, with two-thirds having been donated by Chinese Jack Ma and others, but these donations were taken over by Ngatia, to be resupplied to private hospitals.
Currently, the Nairobi Hospital is charging Ksh. 10,000 per test for the COVID-19 and similarly too, most of the top private facilities in the country.
Meanwhile, there appear to be only 2 or 3 public testing centers in the country for the masses.
Those people rounded through contact tracing or arbitrary arrests by the Government are quarantined at schools at a cost of Ksh.. 2,000 per person per day.
However, Ngatia through KEMSA has in excess of 5,000 critical care beds which they are releasing to counties that are willing to pay cash for them.
We recently saw Mombasa County Government procure such beds through a Private-public partnership.
On the frontlines, doctors and other critical staff have not received any personal protectives equipment (PPEs) from KEMSA despite constant claims that this equipment is readily available and clear evidence that they have been donated to the Government through KEMSA.
So we continue to wonder, why hasn’t the Ministry of Health ensured that these beds and PPEs arrive at all county hospitals in Kenya in anticipation of the spike in infections and hospitalizations?
The Kenyan first lady would fundraise hundreds of millions of shillings annually for her legacy “beyond zero” program in a thinly veiled attempt to hoodwink the Republic that she is plugging the hole created by the incompetence of her oft-inebriated husband and his clique of fiendish friends.
One of the most heart-rending descriptions of the neglect of our healthcare system was the recent death of renowned Swahili media guru Prof. Ken Walibora.
The Daily Nation reported that “ the x-ray and CT Scan showed extensive damage to his head, so doctors resolved he needed to be placed in intensive care…. But unfortunately, all the 22 beds in the KNH main ICU were occupied…
The main national referral hospital in Kenya has only 22 ICU beds, while Richard Ngatia is hawking 5,000 emergency beds through KEMSA during this peak period of COVID-19, taking advantage of the crisis to charge premium prices for them.
Where does the Uhuru Kenyatta Government draw a line in the sand, separating their rapacious pursuit of money for his close personal friends and family, from his sworn duty to protect and defend the lives of his countrymen?
In the run-up to the 2013 elections, among the Kikuyu community, there was the generally accepted clincher that Uhuru Kenyatta’s rise to the Presidency was the best thing for Kenya, for the simple reason that Uhuru and his family did not need to steal from the National coffers, that his folks had done all the stealing on his behalf.
These Kikuyu hillbillies and assholes today shout that Uhuru was a big mistake and that the better solution is now William Ruto, the 2nd face of the same coin of KANU lunacy. These shits never learn!
Ngatia is the physical manifestation of unbridled greed and disrespect for human life in the conduct of business. Despite the primitive acquisition of wealth, these posers are totally incapable of liberating themselves with this wealth, instead, they are caught in the pursuit of an out-of-this-world vortex of alcohol and community pussy.