New Twist in KEMSA Scandal After Senator Linturi's Ex​posé

  • A photo of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi gesturing during a past press address at Parliament Buildings.
    Meru Senator Mithika Linturi gestures during a press address at Parliament Buildings in 2018
    File
  • The deadline issued to investigative agencies and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe by President Uhuru Kenyatta to table a report on the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency scandal elapsed on Wednesday, September 16.

    Kenyatta directed the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and CS Kagwe to present an in-depth analysis of the Covid-19 graft case within 30 days.

    However, Senators have carried on their own parallel analysis into the case with several top agency officials grilled at Parliament.

    On Thursday, September 17, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi exposed the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) after the body's CEO Bernard Njiraini was grilled by Senators. 

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    KEBS CEO Bernard Njiraini addresses the media in Nairobi in 2018
    File

    Njiraini appeared before the Senate to certify whether PPEs and masks supplied to KEMSA met quality standards.

    The Jubilee Senator alleged that he had details of a female committee member at Kebs who was one of the directors at a firm that supplied personal protective equipment, face masks, ventilators and syringe pumps, patient monitors among other items to KEMSA.

    The firm was reportedly awarded a tender worth Ksh 307 million by KEMSA. 

    It also supplied dialysis machines (used to treat chronic kidney diseases) to over 90 hospitals in the country. 

    “KEMSA's decision to undertake direct procurement resulted in deliberately monopolising the market for reagents and consumables in favour of the firm,” a report presented to the Senate added. 

    Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina questioned Njiraini on whether the KEBS officials had registered other companies that supplied PPEs and masks to KEMSA at inflated prices. 

    Njiriani defended his staff from all allegations made and also clarified the controversial decision by the Health Ministry to scrap off the Pharmacy and Poisons Board which was mandated to inspect imported goods too.

    "The decision to remove PPB is a prerogative of the Ministry of Health," Njiriani stated. 

    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE