Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is on the spot as calls for his resignation over the scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies (KEMSA) involving billions continue to increase.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei is the latest to join in on the action now vowing to petition Parliament at the National Assembly level to table a censure motion against the CS should he fail to resign.
Cherargei, speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Wednesday morning, said CS Kagwe as well as Principal Secretary Susan Mochache must step aside after they were implicated in the saga by suspended KEMSA CEO Dr. Jonah Manjari.
“It’s very important that the buck stops with the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Health. CS Kagwe and PS Mochache must resign because the KEMSA CEO, before the floor of the House and under oath, implicated them. The president has ordered investigations on the same matter within 21 days, how can you investigate someone that is still in office?” Posed the Senator.
“They must take political responsibility. They failed Kenyans in terms of due diligence because when COVID-19 cases were rising, they were also perpetuating another pandemic within the ministry called corruption.”
The Nandi Senator, acknowledging that a censure motion is within the domain of the National Assembly, said he is engaging a number of Members of Parliament on who will prepare and table it on the floor of the House.
“If they don’t step aside, I have talked to my colleagues in the National Assembly that next week when they resume session they must prepare a censure motion,” he said.
“I am engaging quite a number of MPs knowing that the issue of preparing a censure motion is within the purview of the National Assembly and Kenyans will know next week who the MP that will table the censure motion is.”
CS Kagwe on Tuesday distanced himself from any alleged scandal at KEMSA after Dr. Manjari previously said he had received instructions from him on how to procure COVID-19 kits.
Kagwe admitted that he applied pressure on Manjari because of the emergency of managing COVID-19 pandemic and that he had no apologies to make on that front.
Speaking while appearing before the National Assembly Health Committee, Kagwe said he has no interest in any company that is currently supplying KEMSA.
“It’s my job to put people under pressure so that they can produce the results we are looking for, its however not my job to tell anybody to commit a crime… it’s not my job to advise anybody against anything they are not supposed to do, and in the event that I told a CEO to do something that is against the law or something they are not comfortable with, he should have said give me that in writing,” Kagwe retorted.
“When you go wrong you don’t go wrong because the CS told you to go wrong, you go wrong because you are a poor manager and you don’t know how to manage and use the laws on procurement.”
It had been claimed that Kagwe and his PS Mochache had written to Manjari and even sent SMSs to put him under pressure to give tenders to particular companies, a claim the CS flatly denied.
He said the letters on qualified suppliers originated from KEMSA as is the norm and the Ministry, through PS Mochache, was only replying with the attached list that had originated from the authority.
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