KEMSA Fights Back Against Uhuru Order

  • File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta
    File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta
  • The Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) Board Chair Kembi Gitura has faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta's move for having dead stock in their warehouses.

    Gitura who was appearing before a parliamentary committee on Thursday, ugust 27, claimed that Uhuru's order of allowing county governments to procure medical equipment outside KEMSA resulted in the agency havinga backlog of Ksh. 6.2 billion stock.

    "His Excellency the President opened a window for county governments to buy from outside KEMSA for the goods that were available locally. Governors may have decided to buy the masks and PPEs from elsewhere, we do not know, we do not know at what price.

    An image of Kembi Gitura
    Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) Board Chair Kembi Gitura speaking at a past event.

    "We are holding a stock of about Ksh6.2 billion because obviously the market has shifted, these things are now much cheaper," he explained in relation to the Covid-19 supplies scandal that has rocked the nation. 

    Gitura claimed that selling the goods would have to be done at a lower cost which will in turn lead to a trading loss in the agency.

    He urged the Parliamentary committee to instead shift their investigation to determine whether KEMSA bought the goods under the laid down procedures.

    The former Senate Deputy Speaker added that the equipment has no expiry date and will still be in demand with the Covid-19 infections showing no signings of levelling down soon.

    To verify his claims of the agency still having stock, Gitura made an appeal to the committee and the media to inspect KEMSA warehouses.

    "I am committed to opening up the warehouse of KEMSA at Embakasi and all of our warehouses for this committee or a sub-committee of it to come and inspect what is in our warehouses.

    "This is a request I make to you, this is an open invitation I make to you and the media so that the reports that keep coming up are verified," he noted.

    Uhuru on Wednesday, August 27 issued an order to the investigative agencies to expedite the investigation and present a report within 21 days. 

    Kemsa warehouse in Embakasi, Nairobi.
    Kemsa warehouse in Embakasi, Nairobi.