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Suppliers cleared by EACC in Kemsa probe

By Jacob Ng'etich | Jan 24th 2021 | 2 min read
Documents from KEMSA being delivered to EACC [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The anti-corruption agency's probe in the Kemsa Covid-19 emergency equipment procurement has cleared suppliers and indicted authority officials.

In a Gazette notice dated January 22, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Corruption (EACC) said they handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji's office a report on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority probe indicting suspended senior officials.

The anti-graft body said it had tied up the case and presented the inquiry to Haji on October 22, 2020, twenty days after the DPP returned the inquiry file for further investigations, which the commission completed and resubmitted.

The inquiry did not indict the suppliers of the Covid-19 items, and is likely to ease anxiety among both local and international suppliers, as well as resolve the paralysis at Kemsa, thereby paving the way for settlement of pending bills and release of personal protective equipment (PPE) to counties to mitigate against the pandemic.

Of the Sh7.6 billion worth of goods supplied, Kemsa has paid Sh4.7 billion, leaving a balance of nearly Sh3 billion.

In September last year, President Kenyatta gave detectives 21 days to complete investigations and prosecute those culpable in the Sh7.8 billion scandal.

In its quarterly reports titled 'EACC/AT/INQ/25/2020 Inquiry into Allegations of Irregular Procurement and Fraudulent Payments of Covid-I9 Emergency Commodities', the anti-graft agency pushed for the prosecution of six officials.

They include former Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari, his personal assistant, director of procurement Charles Juma and director of commercial services Eliud Muriithi.

In the inquiry, EACC noted that Kemsa exceeded its budget by about Sh3.2 billion after flouting the procurement laws and procedures as well as the Public Finance Management procedures.

It was established that Kemsa had no justification for use of direct procurement method, citing an urgent need for the stock in question because suppliers issued with commitment letters did not deliver on time.

The reports tally with that of the Auditor-General, which noted that Kemsa violated the Public Procurement Act in all material aspects.

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