Kemsa bars county over Sh80m in unpaid debt

The debt is said to have resulted in the county being blacklisted as uncreditworthy. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Kenya Medical Supplies Agency has declined to supply government drugs due to an outstanding debt of more than Sh80 million.

Governor Andrew Mwadime disclosed yesterday that his administration was still unable to source for drugs after Kemsa closed its account over the huge debt, even after paying Sh20 million.

The debt is said to have resulted in the county being blacklisted as uncreditworthy.

Speaking to the press at Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary in Mwatate Sub County yesterday, Mwadime said negotiations between his administration and Kemsa are still going on with the view to end the stalemate over drug supply.

He revealed that Health CEC Gifton Mkaya is spearheading negotiations to have the drug shortage resolved once and for all, for the benefit of the locals whose larger population is facing persistent food shortages.

"So far, we have managed to pay Sh20 million to the supplier of the drugs and we are still struggling to clear the outstanding bill. The county woes have been compounded by the national government's failure to release an equal share of revenue and mineral royalties amounting to billions of shillings.

We are also calling on donors to come in and rescue the county," said the governor.

Mwadime noted his administration, which is still grappling with persistent shortages of drugs, non-pharmaceuticals and equipment, owes money to other medical suppliers like Lancet Kenya and Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDs) respectively.

Mkaya said that following Kemsa's move, public health facilities are at risk of running out of essential drugs, hence affecting service delivery.