Senate Health committee demands preliminary report on KEMSA audit

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The Senate Standing Committee on Health has demanded a preliminary audit report on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) by September 30, 2020.

The Auditor General is also expected to embark on auditing how resources deployed to the counties have been utilised during the COVID- 19 pandemic period.

This follows a follows public outcry over alleged misuse and misappropriation of public funds meant to fight the virus.

The alleged scandal at KEMSA involving billions of donor and tax payers’ money came to the fore on Tuesday during a virtual meeting with Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.

Ms. Gathungu asked members of the committee to furnish her office with a supplementary letter narrowing the scope of her initial audit to KEMSA procurement.

She however took exception of assertions made by Kisumu Senator Fred Outa that she was colluding with KEMSA to frustrate the probe process.

The chair of the committee directed her to finalize the audit and present her initial report in the next two weeks.

Reports and subsequent public outcry over alleged misappropriation billions of taxpayer and donor funds have led to recent summons of the KEMSA board and top officials at the Ministry of health.

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache told the National Assembly a fortnight ago that KEMSA flouted the procedure by going on an overdrive spending spree despite capping their expenditure at Ksh.758 million.

Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on the other hand insisted that any loss of money was due to variations in prices of PPEs and not supply of air to KEMSA.

The Auditor General will hence be seeking to analyse the procurement processes at the state agency; for instance, she will be trying to diagnose why items worth Ksh.7.6 billion were procured despite an approval of only Ksh.758.6 million, before she can finally present her report.

The Senate Ad Hoc Committee, The Senate Health Committee, the Public Investment Committee are also involved in the KEMSA probe alongside the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

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