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Kenya: KEMSA exclusively procured Covid-19 related supplies from select firms at pre-set Prices

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The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) exclusively procured Covid-19 related supplies from select firms at pre-set prices on the directive of the Health Ministry, the agency’s board confirmed Thursday.

According to the information gathered by NCMP, Mr. Gitura told the team, chaired by Ms. Sabina Chege, that the letter from the PS had instructions on what to buy, where and at what cost, a move he said was not procedural as the medical agency is not supposed to be directed on what to do by the ministry.

“We received a letter from the Ministry of Health containing a list where we should procure from, the prices and the quantity. I can vouch on the quality of PPEs we procured,” Mr. Gitura said.

Mr. Gitura admitted that, although the directive by the PS was irregular, it does not amount to the illegality of the procurement of PPEs done by KEMSA.

In the letter dated April 15 addressed to suspended CEO Jonah Manjari, which NCMP saw, Ms. Mochache said the World Bank had identified and approved various items to be procured.

“This is to approve the procurement of goods worth Sh758, 690,583 as outlined in the annex. Disregard all other requests made about Covid-19 as they have been captured under this approval,” the PS’s letter reads.

Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny said the directive by the ministry amounted to irregularity as it flouted the tender rules. “The money should have been given to KEMSA and a tender floated for companies to bid,” Mr. Kutuny said. The Health ministry had during its appearance before the committee denied directing KEMSA on what to buy.

The committee has now invited the PS back to authenticate the letter she allegedly signed and sent to KEMSA. Documents tabled before the committee indicate that companies such as Megascope Healthcare, Tikasan Holdings Co Ltd, KEMA Ltd, Medilab, and Applied Products have already pocketed millions of shillings for the supply of PPEs to the agency.

For instance, according to the document KEMSA tabled, Megascope received Sh91.3 million for supplying face masks, Tikasan took got Sh4.4 million, and Applied Products Sh417, 000. Other firms that supplied various items and are awaiting payment include F and S Scientific Ltd (Sh25.4 million), Chemoquip Ltd (Sh4.1 million), Faram Limited (Sh3.2 million) among others.

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