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Kemsa spends Sh45m a month on staff sent home – Business Daily

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) warehouse in Nairobi on December 1, 2020. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG
The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) is spending about Sh45 million monthly to pay staff who were sent home to pave the way for a restructuring that has hit a brick wall.
Kemsa spends Sh90 million monthly to pay its 912 employees but half of the staff are idling at home following the board’s decision to restructure the agency.
Terry Ramadhani, the Kemsa chief executive, told MPs that the more than 400 employees who were asked last year to work from home had obtained court orders requiring the agency to pay them full salaries, allowances and benefits.
She told the National Assembly’s Health committee that the employees had filed eight cases, six seeking to block the restructuring that will see hundreds of staff declared redundant.
Kemsa is undergoing changes in a bid to reform the agency and improve the accountability of its employees amid a string of scandals that have plagued it.
Last year, it sent home the entire workforce as it worked to implement a new organisational structure introduced in the wake of the Covid-19 kits purchase scandal.
The State drug supplies agency was expected to advertise 378 jobs last November but the staff blocked the hiring.
Kemsa has more than doubled its required staff size, underlining wastage at the State agency.
“We are paying about Sh90 million monthly to all our employees, including those who are working at home. We intended to have a staff complement of only 378 but those we sent home moved to court and stopped the entire exercise,” Ms Ramadhani told MPs during an inspection visit of Kemsa headquarters.
“They stopped us at the time we had issued notice to declare redundancies. We have no option but to pay them their salaries pending the conclusion of the case.”
She said some of the employees are working from home while others do not work but earn salaries.
“Those we sent home were believed to be involved in sabotage. As you said, internal sabotage is worse than an open rebellion,” Ms Ramadhani said.
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