Revolving doors at Kemsa still spinning – Business Daily
Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) warehouse in Embakasi, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has appointed a second acting procurement director in a span of seven months amid a restructuring plan at the scandal-hit agency.
The changes will see John Kabuchi, who is the immediate former acting chief executive at the State agency take over as acting procurement director from Silas Njeru effective July 20, 2022.
Mr Njeru took over the position in the same capacity in January. His appointment came months after the suspension of former procumbent head Charles Juma alongside other senior directors at the drugs agency to pave the way for investigations into claims of corruption in Covid-19 procurements.
The new appointment in the procurement department comes at a time the agency is planning to declare its entire workforce redundant under a new organisational structure introduced in the wake of the Covid-19 kits purchase scandal.
“Due to unavoidable circumstances, Dr Silas Njeru has taken some time off. I have, therefore, appointed Mr Kabuchi Ag Medical Commodities Program (MCP) director to oversee the procurement directorate in Dr Njeru’s absence,” said Kemsa CEO Terry Ramadhani in a memo to staff last week.
The changes will also see Mary Kitaka responsible for all contracting matters, Antony Chege will take care of all purchasing matters both internal and external while Caroline Mugo will continue handling programmes.
The changes are coming months after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) documented evidence of “criminal” behavior in the purchase of Covid-19 kits and declared there was “irregular expenditure” of Sh7.8 billion.
Kemsa bought the Covid-19 emergency equipment at Sh6.3 billion in procurement the EACC flagged as irregular and recommended charges against some officials.
A special audit by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu showed that Kemsa may realise a loss of Sh2.33 billion if the products, which were stuck in its warehouses, are sold at the current market price.