Appearing before the National Assembly’s Health Committee over alleged loss of billions of shillings, KEMSA management shelved itself from any procurement impropriety, saying, they took orders from Ms Mochache.
Mr. Gitura told the committee that the agency received a letter dated April from the PS with details about the procurement procedure. Gitura claims that the letter had instructions on what to buy, where and at what cost. Mr. Gitary states that that move was unprocedural because medical agency is not supposed to be directed on what to do by the ministry.
However, Mr. Gitura admitted that, although the directive by the PS was irregular, it does not amount to an illegality of the procurement of PPEs done by Kemsa. In another letter dated April 15 addressed to suspended CEO Jonah Manjari, Ms Mochache said the World Bank had identified and approved various items to be procured.
KEMSA scandal have been a controversial conversation among leaders and political divide. While speaking about the misappropriation of funds in KEMSA, MP Joshua Kutuny said the directive by the ministry amounted to an irregularity as it flouted the tender norms. However, the health ministry had said that it had not directed Kemsa on what to buy and what not to.
Documents before the committee show that companies such as Megascope Healthcare, Tikasan Holdings Co Ltd, KEMA Ltd, Medilab and Applied Products pocketed millions of shillings for the supply of PPEs to the agency.
According to the document tabled by Kemsa before the parliamentary committee, Megascope received Sh91.3 million for supplying face masks; Tikasan took got Sh4.4 million, and Applied Products Sh417, 000.Other firms that are awaiting payment include F and S Scientific Ltd (Sh25.4 million), Chemoquip Ltd (Sh4.1 million), Faram Limited (Sh3.2 million) among others.
The medical agency is on the spot after it procured the N95 (1860) masks at KES 1, 300 against the market price of KES 700 apiece. It paid KES 700 for the KN95 mask that goes for 450 on the higher side. The agency ordered 1,836,400 of these and reasonably enough the prices should have been lower considering that KEMSA was buying in bulk.
The disposable three-ply surgical masks were reportedly bought irregularly at Sh90 apiece against the market price of Sh50 when bought in bulk. A study by the Health ministry and World Health Organization done a year ago revealed that some drugs in Kenya were being sold at double the international prices, or even higher.
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