Civil Service Fraud

Kenya Medical Laboratory Board (KMLTTB) takes bribes instead of exams to renew licences

Mutahi Kagwe, the Cabinet Secretary For Health

 

According to its website, the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB) is mandated by CAP 253A, Laws of Kenya to provide general supervision and control over the training, business, employment and practice of the medical laboratory profession.

It is therefore supposed to offer exams for renewal of licences, however, according to a whistleblower, the registrar has decided to issue the license for free, as long as Laboratory Technicians and Technologists part with a bribe.

Hello Cyprian,

The corruption at the KMLTTB LABORATORY board of Kenya has exceeded the Police department. The admin is demanding Sh120k from students to upgrade from certificate to diploma. If one doesn’t pay, their licences will never be renewed.

It’s so heartless to ask hustlers for Sh120k in cash at this time of economic crisis, please investigate how Abdulahi Latif (ADMIN) is robbing innocent poor Kenyans just because he is fearing the next government he won’t be in office.

They pretend that there is an examination being done for Sh120k but when desperate Kenyans pay Sh120k they’re allowed to renew licenses free, (without doing any exams). It’s a corrupt system where the Chairman and Registrar have collaborated to frustrate professionals and threaten them that if they won’t pay that money, they will be removed from the system of Laboratories.

Impunity

This is not the first time the board is accused of laxity, mismanagement and corruption.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a section of laboratory technicians and technologists wrote to the Ministry of Health through their Union, to have the board disbanded.

Abel Onyango – Chairman, Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB)

They accused the board of failing to perform its duty at a time the country is busy fighting the pandemic.

Through their union, the Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers, the lab professionals accused the 11-member board of lacking “the ability to regulate, formulate guidance and policies regarding laboratory officers and laboratory-related utilities”.

“Among others, the announcement by the government through Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe seemed to point out that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has taken over regulatory decisions for approving Covid-19 test kits,” says the lab professionals in an online petition

“KMLTTB has repeatedly failed in many ways to show direction and leadership in matters laboratory profession…the board’s leadership has failed to demonstrate the will to defend interests of its mandate,” states the petition.

Dr Abdullatif Ali is KMLTTB’s CEO cum registrar whereas the chairman is Abel Onyango.

This impunity is why shady labs, such as Pathcare, operate in Kenya.

READ: COVID-19 Cons: Pathcare Kenya Laboratories punished staff instead of improving

Extended tenure

In 2021, a lobby group petitioned the health ministry to dissolve the KMLTTB board for illegally extending their terms in office despite the expiry of their tenure and retirement respectively. 

Magnam Environmental Network, through their chairman Michael Nyanguti, urged Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to constitute a new board, and appoint a new chairman and registrar within 21 days to restore order in the board.

Nyaguti said Ali retired in June 2021 and has declined to vacate the office. Both Ali and Onyango, he said, have continued to work with the executive officer Patrick Kisabei and the finance officer Koech Kipkemoi.

(Extreme Right) Dr. Abdulatif Ali, CEO/ Registrar and Director Diagnostics Services at Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB)

“The officers have continued to spend taxpayers’ money without an approved budget by the board while they are illegally in office,” Nyaguti said in his petition.

These are not the only petitions that have ever been filed to have the board reconstituted.

In 2016, the Medical laboratory technicians issued a 14-day notice to Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu to reconstitute the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board.

Association of Kenya medical laboratory Scientific Officers (AKMLSO) Secretary-General Harun Anunda said the board has been operating illegally.

Despite all these, the govt has stayed put and the illegal chair and registrar are indeed milking lab technicians and technologists one last time.


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