Covid-19 Millionaires: New Twist as Uhuru Order Finally Acted On

  • An image of Uhuru Kenyatta
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking in Parliament during the State of the Nation Address on Thursday 12 November 2020.
  • There is a new twist in the Covid-19 millionaires scandal after the state acted upon a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta made three months ago, regarding tenders at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA). 

    KEMSA, which was at the centre of the center of the publicised scandal, has finally published a list of all companies that were awarded contracts in the matter that cost the country upwards of Ksh7.8 billion.

    In the wake of the scandal alleging shadowy companies were rewarded lucrative tenders, President Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Health to make public all the tenders procured by Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).

    A list that appears on the Public Procurement Information Portal (PPIP) showed that several companies were awarded the contracts with some pocketing over Ksh150 million in the process.

    The Kenya Medical Supplies Agencies headquarters in Industrial Area Nairobi.
    The Kenya Medical Supplies Agencies headquarters in Industrial Area Nairobi.
    Daily Nation

    The list shows all the companies that were awarded contracts in the competitive process, including those that may not have committed a crime.

    Philips Healthcare Technologies Ltd was contracted to supply Covid-19 test kits worth Ksh150 million while Zonken Medical Supplies was also directed to provided extraction kits.

    Other companies listed on the website include Bell Industries which supplied Thermometers, F & S Scientific Ltd that supplied Swabs and Zebra Investments Ltd that supplied Viral Transport Media with Swabs on emergency.

    Another company, Saga Holdings Ltd, was also contracted to supply surgical masks valued at Ksh21 million while Nanopay Ltd was contracted to supply KN95 Respirator face masks as well as Ziwala Ltd

    Other companies mentioned include Wallabis Ventures (PPE), Aszure Commercial Services LTD (KN95 face masks), Trippleage Investment Ltd (face masks), Villa Surgical and Equipment Ltd (Surgical masks), Faram East Africa Ltd and Caperina Ltd among others

    On Wednesday, August 27 issued two directives including the public listing of all companies involved in the tenders as well as a second-order to the investigative agencies to expedite the criminal investigation and present a report within 21 days. 

    KEMSA, however, made the list public three months after the Head of State made the order. Investigative agencies did not make public their findings on the probe. 

    The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigated the theft of the Covid-19 billions where a total of 12 companies were allegedly awarded tenders worth Ksh3 billion to supply items that were not covered in KEMSA's budget as at June 4, 2020.

    EACC has also disclosed that it had stopped any payments by KEMSA related to Covid-19 until the investigations are completed.

    "We have stopped all payments related to Covid-19 until our investigations are completed," EACC boss Twalib Mbarak told Daily Nation.

    KEMSA branded boxes.
    KEMSA branded boxes.