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Court stops the appointment of two Kemsa board members

Health & Science - By Julius Chepkwony
Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labour Relations Court. [File, Standard]

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi has temporarily stopped the decision by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health appointing Dorothy Atieno and Timothy Mwololo to the position of Board Members Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

The order by Justice Hellen Wasilwa followed an application by Samuel Chelongo.

"That pending the inter parties hearing and determination of this application, this honorable court hereby issues a conservatory order staying the 1st respondent's (The Cabinet Secretary Ministry for health) decision to appoint the 1st and second interested parties (Atieno and Mwololo respectively) to the position of Board Member of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority," read the order in part.

Justice Wasilwa also directed that the parties be served and the case be heard on September 23, 2020.

The CS vide a gazette notice published on May 29, 2020, under vol. cxx11-No. 98 announced that he had appointed the two. In the said communication they were to serve for a period of three (3) years with effect from May 29, 2020.

Chelongo through lawyer Dorcas Mwae said the positions occupied by the two were neither advertised for and there was no public participation in the appointment of the two.

The application filed in court indicates that the duo has never resigned from their previous post.

"At the time of appointment to the above positions, Atieno worked at the Kenyatta Nation Hospital as an Assistant Chief Pharmacist, a position that she dearly holds up to now," read the application filed in court.

Mwololo on his part allegedly is a professor of information systems in the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Nairobi up to date.

Chelongo said that it goes without saying that the two earn double salaries as the public officers-an act that is against our Kenyan constitution of 2010 and the public officers' ethics Act.

He said it is clear the cabinet secretary acted blatantly and with due disregard to the applicable laws when appointing the two to the position of a member of the Board of Directors of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.

The case comes at a time when Kemsa is in the middle of the Covid-19 supplies scam that has seen its Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari suspended and investigations being carried out by parliament and other state agencies over how Sh49 billion allocated to the agency for the purchase of equipment and drugs for use in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic were utilised.

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