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Kemsa staff now locked out of office ICT system


KEMSA Office in Nairobi on September 16, 2021. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) staff, have been locked out of the system days after bring sent to work from home.

Locking the 900-odd employees out of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system might hamper smooth supply of medical commodities to counties.

The move may mean they have been sacked by the board chaired by Ms Mary Chao Mwadime. The board has been in office for eight months.

Sources at the authority said the employees cannot work after being locked out of the system. “We are not able to work from home because we cannot log into the system. Our official emails have also been blocked,” the source said.

On Thursday, Mwadime said all non-core staff members were released to work from home, for 30 days, as necessary consultations progress.

She said that the employees had been mobilised for mobile operations to avoid undue disruptions to service delivery.

Though the application of commodities for supply is done online, the manual process is applied during dispatch. Initially, supply chain and procurement officers are assigned to consolidate and oversee the dispatch of the orders.

Drivers, who deliver medical supplies to regional offices and hospitals, are also not at their respective workstations.

The Standard independently established that workflow at Kemsa’s main warehouse in Embakasi has been halted.

“If counties give an order, they will not be processed because we use a manual system that requires someone to consolidate the orders,” added the source.

During the media briefing on Thursday, Mwadime said services at the authority would not be disrupted as National Youth Service and other government employees will oversee operations.

But according to sources, NYS and military officers already recruited to work at the authority will work for two months, awaiting recruitment of new staff.

Kemsa has in the past been accused of under-performance, and failure to effectively deliver essential medicines and products to counties.

County governments, through the Council of Governors (CoG), have been pushing to be allowed to procure medicines and other medical supplies from other entities, and not only through Kemsa.

The CoG challenged the constitutionality of Kemsa, and urged the High Court to allow counties to procure their medical goods from other medical suppliers.

But according to Kemsa Act, county governments are required to procure non-pharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals from the authority.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) wants the redundancy order suspended to allow more engagements. 

“The purported restructuring and the general notice of potential redundancy sent to Kemsa staff be suspended to allow for further engagement of stakeholders,” said the union’s SG, Dr Davji Atellah. 

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