Sh86m expenditure queried as Kemsa scam resurfaces

 Kemsa Nairobi supply chain centre in Embakasi on Thursday, May 5, 2022. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The Auditor General has raised questions on how the Health Ministry paid Sh86 million more for the construction of structures to house cancer treatment equipment in three counties.

The initial contract sum was Sh356 million, but by June 2021, Auditor General Ms Nancy Gathungu reports, that the contractor had been paid Sh442.03 million. By June 5, 2020, the sum was varied by Sh29.06 million and by September 30, 2020, by Sh57.8 million.

“However, variation was not supported by request for contract variation by the contractor and bid documents were not provided for audit,” reads the report. “In the circumstances, the propriety, accuracy and completeness of the construction of building expenditure totalling Sh57,820,544 for the year ended June 30, 2021, could not be confirmed.”

The said bunkers and supra structures are being constructed in Nakuru, Garissa, and Mombasa to house linear accelerators for cancer treatment.

Another unsupported expenditure of Sh17.7 million on a possible nonexistent drug rehabilitation centre at the Coast General Hospital was also flagged.

The report notes that there was no corresponding Bill of Quantities, tender evaluation report and contract provided for review. "Further the interim certificate did not quantify the preliminaries and work done,” the report reads.

The report exhumes the 2020 Covid-19 scandal that rocked the Ministry of Health, the mother ministry of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

In this report, the auditor faults Kemsa for failing to do a market survey, which led to overpricing of facemasks at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report has also questioned state-owned family planning commodities that were distributed to private facilities without the GOK or NOT FOR SALE tag.

According to the report, there was no value for money in emergency procurement of ventilators, which by late last year were still in the Kemsa warehouses.

“Physical verification on September 24, 2021, revealed that out of the 20 ventilators, 13 of them valued at Sh33,800,000 were still at the Kemsa warehouses, 17 months after emergency procurement to mitigate the effects of Covid-19,” reads the report in part.

Ms Gathungu, in the report, says Kemsa management has not explained the failure to distribute the ventilators. “In the circumstances the undistributed, essential and high demand ventilators, value for money may not have been realised and the project management was in breach of the law,” it adds.

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