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Firm admits Kemsa tendering was flawed

Health & Science
 Titus Ibui, the director of Bell Industries. [File, Standard]

The owner of one of the companies that supplied Covid-19 kits was aware that the tendering procedure was flawed.

Titus Ibui, the director of Bell Industries, yesterday told the Senate Committee on Health that he decided to go on with the irregular process at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) since it was not his duty to ensure the procedure was lawfully followed.

Procurement process

Ibui, who is the Lapsset chairman and a senior member of the Mt Kenya Foundation, said he had been engaged with the authority since 2015, but that was the first time a procurement process was being done differently.

“I knew that the procedure was being done against the law. But it is not for the supplier to follow the law. That was the duty of Kemsa,” he said.

This puzzled Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina, who asked how it was business as usual for him despite “being aware that the law was being broken and that the tendering process was needed for accountability”.

 Senator Ledama Olekina, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, in Parliament Mini County Hall on  December 7, 2020. [David Njaaga,Standard]

The director also told the committee that his company did not get the tender by sheer luck, but because “we are prequalified suppliers with Kemsa”.

He said the company knew about the items needed by Kemsa from the media that had reported about lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the country.

“As a business, we always seek for new opportunities. So I visited the procurement department at Kemsa to seek more information on the items required, then we were given the procedure of supply,” he said.

Bell Industries is on the list of suppliers that reaped big from the multi-billion tender deals that were awarded by Kemsa for Covid-19 items.

The company was handed a contract to supply PPE at a negotiated price of Sh8,500 per pair and thermal guns at the same price.

The company supplied goods worth Sh185 million.

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