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Pressure mounts on CS Kagwe to resign over stolen Covid-19 funds

Health & Science

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General, Seth Panyako has asked Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his PS Susan Mochache to resign over the misuse of Covid-19 funds.

Panyako (pictured) on Sunday urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Kagwe, Mochache and top ministry officials who have been implicated in the Kenya Medical Supply Agency (KEMSA) Covid-19 funds theft should they fail vacate office by Monday.

He said CS Kagwe was part of the individuals who were involved in the pilferage and must vacate office for investigations to be carried out.

“Kagwe and Mochache should be out of office latest Monday before they do more damage at the ministry,” he said in Kakamega on Sunday.

He called on the United Nations to probe how Kenya has spent the funds received from foreign donors to fight Covid-19.

Kagwe was named alongside Mochache, and another member of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Board only identified with his military title, as having pressured Kemsa to flout procurement rules.

Suspended Kemsa chief executive Jonah Manjari told the joint Senate Health and Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19 that he was receiving numerous calls, short text messages and emails from the trio to award tenders for the provision of various items.

Slammed ODM

Panyako also faulted a statement by ODM last week calling for a special audit of KEMSA over the corruption claims, saying it is an insult to Kenyans.

He wondered why ODM, a party that has positioned itself in the past as anti-graft outfit was now defending corruption at the ministry.

Panyako said it was disheartening for ODM to start supporting corruption.

“Corruption in the Ministry of Health has seen 16 frontline health workers lose their lives and another 900 contracting the bug due to lack of PPEs”.

ODM through secretary general Edwin Sifuna had warned against the media against sensationalising of the graft claims at the agency following a TV exposé.

Panyako told ODM to get out the affairs of the health sector and stop protecting corrupt leaders.

“ODM should give us a break. It is the responsibility of every Kenyan, including leaders, to ensure the fight against corruption is taken to a different notch.

The government has been under pressure after USAID and the Global Fund threatened to stop aid to Kenya over alleged graft at KEMSA.

The two organisations threatened to withdraw up to Sh400 billion for Kenya over the KEMSA.

President Uhuru has ordered for a probe into the alleged misuse of funds meant to battle coronavirus within 21 days.

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