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Uhuru wants transparency in Kemsa tenders

Reproductive Health - By Protus Onyango

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the Council of Governors Covid-19 virtual conference from State House, Nairobi, yesterday. [PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Health to urgently develop a plan that will ensure transparent tendering at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).

“I direct the Ministry of Health to come up with an elaborate system, within 30 days, to ensure all Kemsa tenders are published and are accessible to the public so they can review what they are for, how they are evaluated, the amounts involved and who finally gets the tender,” Uhuru said as he closed the Council of Governors Covid-19 virtual conference yesterday.

Kemsa is under investigations, by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), for alleged plunder of billions of shillings meant to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Uhuru also said his administration will review the public procurement system in efforts to regain the confidence of Kenyans who he said have a right to know how their money is being spent.

“There is need for transparency in procurement, not only at the Ministry of Health but also in Parliament, Judiciary, counties and all other government agencies, to ensure people at the helm of public institutions manage public funds prudently,” Ururu told the county bosses.

He said the closure of learning institutions and other measures to manage Covid-19 such as lockdowns had taken a toll on Kenyans, especially the youth, and directed the health ministry to as well expedite a plan on how the country can deal with mental health.

“There is need for the country to focus on mental health which is increasingly becoming a major problem especially to the young people, who feel they have been contained and can’t enjoy their freedom. We should have this plan in the next two weeks during the annual meeting on crafting a national strategy for post-Covid-19 period.”

He lauded the collaboration between the national and county governments on various issues saying it lays the foundation for increased growth.

“I am happy about the deepening partnership between the two levels of government. We have seen the impact of the collaboration, not only in devolution but other aspects as well. We should realise that we all here to serve the people,” Uhuru said.

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