Jonah Manjari who was suspended from his CEO position at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) has dragged top government officials into the multi-billion shilling scandal.
On Friday, Manjari claimed that KEMSA was under intense pressure from high ranking officials at the Health Ministry to handpick suppliers.
He further alleged that the web of those exerting external influence on KEMSA also included an unnamed brigadier: all eyeing to sway who supplies the medical agency.
However, according to him, all instructions were never formal.
But in a swift rebuttal, Health Ministry PS Susan Mochache has written to KEMSA challenging the institution to produce evidence of the alleged collusion.
“If indeed you stand by the allegations that you were given the instructions by the ministry regarding which suppliers to procure from and at what prices, please provide the letter that had such instructions including any communication to you on this matter which bore instructions as to where to source the items and their prices,” the letter reads.
She indicated that that the ministry’s only concern was to ensure that KEMSA’s procurement was within the availed budget.
The budget is said to have been overshot to Ksh. 7.6billion when the KEMSA boss disregarded warnings from his procurement officer in issuance of commitment letters to procure the emergency supplies.
Outa: He advised you when the budget was at Ksh. 5.2million, you overlooked.
Mbito: Did the board authorize you to commit KEMSA and did the board approve the surplus budget?
It has also emerged that a company said to be the biggest beneficiary of the COVID-19 funds was neither paid nor did it supply KEMSA despite receiving commitment letters from the agency.
Documents seen by Citizen Digital indicate that on April 19 KEMSA issued a commitment letter to Kilig Limited to supply the medical services agency with 450,000 personal protective kits.
This was to include N95 masks, body suits, goggles, water protective shoe covers and gloves.
Kilig was given 15 days within which to supply but the next day, KEMSA cited failure to deliver within the agreed timelines as reason for cancelling the commitment letter.
Two days later, the company appealed the cancellation indicating challenges in shipping and logistics arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, Kilig provided KEMSA with new dates for the arrival of the emergency supplies with the deadline stated as July 22.
This prompted the suspended Manjari to issue a second commitment letter to Kilig Limited extending the delivery period for the supply of the PPE kits.
The company was then told that procurement process will commence thereafter.
But on June 30, KEMSA cancel the commitment letter for a second time citing budgetary constraints.
The mystery surrounding the shadowy commitment letters and subsequent cancellation has left officials shifting blame while Kilig remains with warehouses filled with KEMSA branded kits.
Kilig was one time linked to powerful Jubilee politician David Murathe with the names appearing on the companies CR12 serving as mere proxies that held brief for him.
When reached for comment, Murathe said: “Mutahi should tell us who this mafia at Afya House are because they have names and faces; you can’t put everyone in the same box. I am not defending KEMSA. I have never done any business with KEMSA and I don’t intend on doing any business with them.”
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