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KEMSA report out next month, Mvita MP Nassir says

NATIONAL
By Betty Njeru | August 26th 2021

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir at the Parliament buildings, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A report on the beneficiaries of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) scandal is ready for tabling before Parliament.

The chairperson of the Public Investment Committee (PIC) and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir revealed that members have already gone through the report, documented their observations and signed it.

“We (MPs) are currently on recess.  The report will, therefore, be tabled after recess. The members have already adopted it,” Nassir stated.

The lawmaker, who was the guest on Spice FM on Thursday morning, underscored the negative consequence of corruption on the Kenyan economy.

“Corruption has hit this country to a level where 30 per cent of our expenses can be attributed to the vice,” he said.

Parliament resumes from recess on September 6, 2021, when Kenyans can expect to know details of the report.

Almost one year after Kenyans got wind of the impropriety in the acquisition of Sh7.8 billion Covid-19 equipment, arrests and convictions are yet to be made.

In August last year, KEMSA, which had been legally tasked with procuring Covid-19 protective equipment, caught the attention of the President after being put on the spot over the looted Sh7.8 billion.

President Kenyatta, as a result, ordered speedy investigations into the embezzlement.

“In line with our stated public policy on zero tolerance to corruption, all persons found to be prima facie culpable because of those investigations should be brought to book, notwithstanding the public office they hold or their political or social status,” the President said in an August 2020 televised address.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, several companies and individuals have been probed in connection with the scandal.

In July 2021, MPs faulted Kagwe for taking long to react to a report by the National Treasury faulting Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) spending.

The lawmakers said they failed to understand why despite various board meetings, it never got to the CS’s attention that there was an issue, and it had to take an insider to disclose exactly what was happening.

“Were you not briefed on what was happening at KEMSA despite having a representative? Is that why Kenyans had to wait until the Treasury flagged off the expenditure issues?” Wajir East MP Amin Rashid Kassim posed during a grilling session.

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