Uhuru Breaks Silence on Covid-19 Scandal

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during the launch of a new youth programme, Generation Unlimited Kenya, on Thursday, August 4, 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during the launch of a new youth programme, Generation Unlimited Kenya, on Thursday, August 4, 2020
    PSCU
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta broke his silence on the Covid-19 scandal following an uproar on the issue which has seen officials at Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) accused of embezzling funds.

    Kenyatta issued an order to the investigative agencies to expedite the investigation and present a report within 21 days. 

    "Fellow Kenyans, in line with my stated public policy on zero tolerance to corruption, I want to reiterate that any persons found culpable should be brought to book notwithstanding their public office or political and social status," Kenyatta directed. 

    Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak had earlier on stated that the case may drag as it involves several issues that need to be cleared first. 

    Health Cabinet Secretary nominee Mutahi Kagwe when he appeared for vetting before the National Assembly Committee on Appointments chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
    Health Cabinet Secretary nominee Mutahi Kagwe when he appeared for vetting before the National Assembly Committee on Appointments chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

    Some of the issues include financial impropriety, disregard of procurement laws, creation of proxies and private firms by KEMSA to embezzle funds, inflation of prices and legality of firms involved in the scandal.

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Fund threatened to withdraw over Ksh 400 billion offered to Kenya as aid to push the government into investigating the scandal. 

    While addressing the nation, Kenyatta also ordered Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to form a team to review the efficacy of the country’s response to Covid-19 and record lessons learnt.

    "The CS for Health acting jointly with the Chairperson of the Council of Governors (Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya) shall constitute a National Reference Group on Covid-19 to review the efficacy of this pandemic so far.

    "The group should also formulate strategies to identify institutional weaknesses at both national and county levels and recommend ways to increase representation of county governance and how national response to health care emergency can be improved," he ordered.

    Kagwe was also directed to ensure that the Universal Healthcare agenda review purchases of drugs not only for the pandemic but for any other emergency and to also work towards research, development and testing of Covid-19 vaccines in Kenya. 

    Kenyatta noted that health experts indicated that the level of Covid-19 had dropped from 13% in June to 8% in August. 

    As of Wednesday, August 26, Kenya recorded 33,016 Covid-19 positive cases, 553 fatalities and 19,296 recoveries. 

    A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
    A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
    File