KEMSA Suspends CEO And Two Other Directors Over Covid-19 Procurement Kits

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) CEO Dr. Jonah Mwangi Manjari has been suspended following allegations that the authority flouted procurement regulations putting at risk Ksh.100 billion of donor funds meant for battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press briefing on Friday, KEMSA board Chairman Kembi Gitura said Dr. Mwangi the axe did not fall on the CEO alone but on two other directors as well.

Kemsa, which buys drugs for all public health facilities in the country, is on the spot again for procuring Covid-19 emergency kits at exorbitant prices.

The suspension comes barely days after the rot in KEMSA came to the public light. A preliminary probe by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) revealed that KEMSA officials flouted procurement procedures by direct sourcing and awarding a Ksh.7.7 billion tender to a company known as Kilig Limited under the cover of emergency needs, despite the fact that they were given three months to supply as opposed to one month.

A statement released on Friday said CEO Jonah Manjari had been suspended alongside directors Eliud Muriithi (Commercial) and Charles Jume (Procurement).

“As the KEMSA board we have resolved that those three officers stand suspended from today August 14, 2020 until such a time that the EACC completes its investigations and gives a direction on the way forward. Should they be charged in court then the board again will have to sit and make further decisions,” said Kembi Gitura.

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The board appointed Operations Director Edward Njoroge Njuguna the acting CEO.

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George Walukana and Edward Buluma were also appointed to serve as the acting Commercial Director and the acting Procurement Director respectively.

The questionable procurement processes involved companies with less than six months receiving tenders without credible financial records being presented.


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