KEMSA Suspends CEO Jonah Mwangi Manjari Over Covid-19 Billions

  • Kenya Medical Supplies Agency CEO Jonah Manjari addresses the media at Sarova Panafric Hotel on April 15, 2019.
    Kenya Medical Supplies Agency CEO Jonah Manjari addresses the media at Sarova Panafric Hotel on April 15, 2019.
    Daily Nation
  • Kenya Medical Supplies Agency CEO Jonah Mwangi Manjari was suspended on Friday, August 14 over irregular procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment. 

    According to reports from the national broadcaster KBC, KEMSA Commercial Director Eluid Muriithi and the KEMSA Procurement Director Charles Juma have also faced disciplinary action. 

    Operations Dirctor Edward Njoroge Njuguna, has since been appointed by the board as the acting CEO, while Edward Buluma and Dr George Walukana will be the acting Procurement and Commercial Directors respectively.

    KEMSA CEO Jonah Manjari (left) with Postal Corporation of Kenya Postmaster General Dan Kagwe during the signing of a partnership for countrywide delivery of health products and technologies on January 14, 2020.
    KEMSA CEO Jonah Manjari (second left) with Postal Corporation of Kenya Postmaster General Dan Kagwe (second right) during the signing of a partnership for countrywide delivery of health products and technologies on January 14, 2020.
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    The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission has launched investigations into the procurement of Covid-19 kits which reportedly led to the loss of billions. 

    A total of 12 companies were awarded tenders worth Ksh3 billion to supply items that were not covered in KEMSA's budget as at June 4, 2020.

    Manjari had appeared before the Senate Health Committee in July after members requested to know why he was procuring the personal protective equipment at Ksh 9,000 while the market rate was pegged at Ksh 4,500.

    There were reports that Covid-19 donations were also being diverted by infuential people for resale to the government through irregular tenders. 

    At the same time, details emerged on how newly-registered companies secured lucrative tenders at KEMSA despite there being little proof that they were capable of fulfilling their obligations in the deal.

    Some of the companies were linked to politicians and senior governemnt officials. 

    Following the huge uproar on the alleged corruption scandal, Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe defended the inflated procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

    Kagwe explained that at the time the government was procuring the PPEs, prices around the world were high due to increased demand.

    "When we recorded our first case the global demand for PPEs was huge, we got into the market at a time when the demand was extremely high but because we had an emergency we had to contend with the situation as it was.

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a press briefing in May 2020.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a press briefing in May 2020.
    Kenyans.co.ke