An investigative report by NTV journalist Dennis Okari on Sunday, August 16, uncovered a mega-graft scandal regarding use of billions allocated for Covid-19.
The funds include loans and grants from institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support Kenya's efforts to combat the virus.
The report further revealed how a large consignment of donations including masks and ventilators from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma went missing once it arrived in the country.
Among those interviewed for the report were Nominated Senator Sylvia Kasanga who chairs the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Covid-19, and Gordwins Agutu who serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Network Action Against Corruption (KNAAC).A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
Staff at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), the body at the centre of the scam, were also interviewed although some identities were hidden due to ongoing investigations.
The exposé revealed that records on the donations showed that two companies were authorised to receive the consignment at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The paper trail, however, went cold as no records were available to show how the donations were thereafter distributed.
Agutu claimed that investigations revealed that at least three quarters of the consignment was shipped off to Tanzania by well-connected wheeler-dealers. There, he claimed, it was sold off to various organisations and institutions.
He further alleged that what remained of the consignment found itself in the market, and was sold to private companies in Kenya among others.
Breaking down an analysis of funds received for the fight against Covid-19, Agutu further claimed that Ksh43 billion could not be accounted for.
"It's true that the Covid-19 pandemic has minted many millionaires. It's not a laughing matter," he stated.
Sylvia Kasanga also confirmed that the ad-hoc committee identified several discrepancies in the available data on the funds.
"I think as a country we don't know when to do corruption and when not to. We are talking about a pandemic here," she stated.
Kasanga maintained that the committee would follow up on the matter even as she maintained that those responsible for the scandal would be punished for their actions.
The exposé sparked fury among Kenyans, many of whom demanded that citizens rally together to end graft by taking on corrupt officials and demanding their resignations, arrest and prosecution.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Unions (KMPDU) was also up in arms, as its members have long protested over the lack of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for their members in various hospitals across the country.
The union promised to issue a major declaration on Monday, August 17, following the exposé .
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) continues to investigate the scandal which had KEMSA as its focal point.
Questions were first raised after procurement irregularities were observed at the agency as it purchased PPEs at double the market price. The Ministry of Health defended the procurement arguing that prices were higher at the onset of the pandemic due to high demand.
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