HOW COVID 19 DONATIONS VANISHED AT THE AIRPORT; KEMSA SCANDAL
Recent investigations into yet another mega scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, KEMSA have revealed how Ksh 223 billion Covid 19 donations received by the Kenyan Government from international organizations vanished.
In July 2020, a red flag was raised after details emerged that KEMSA was procuring Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs at ballooned prices, double the market price.
A little digging by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, EACC has further exposed the rot surrounding the acquisition of PPEs.
According to the EACC, various companies were awarded deals to supply PPEs in a suspicious manner. Material donations were neither spared.
Donations including huge consignments of masks and ventilators somehow found their way into private warehouses upon arrival it Nairobi.
Allegations have also risen linking the culprits behind the diversion of PPEs to companies that are likely to secure various government supply deals.
NEWLY REGISTERED COMPANIES WON PPE TENDERS AT KEMSA
As if that is not enough, newly registered companies seem to have won lucrative government tenders to supply PPEs at KEMSA irrespective of their inability to continue fulfilling their obligations as stipulated in the deal.
For instance, one company that got registered on January 22 was awarded a Ksh 4 billion tender a barely two months later to supply PPE kits.
To add insult upon injury, every PPE kit was to be procured at Ksh 9000, which is double the market price.
The company was to supply hundreds of thousands of PPE kits including gloves, goggles, suits, and shoe covers.
The tender was however annulled after EACC started probing and digging into the matter.
12 companies got the tenders worth Ksh 3 billion to supply items not included in KEMSA’s budget as at June 4, 2020.
The man at the center of this storm, Jonah Manjari who is the KEMSA CEO was grilled by the health committee in the National Assembly on Friday, July 17 over the inflated prices for PPEs.
His ridiculous argument indicated that the prices were exaggerated since KEMSA was purchasing “high quality” items since they were not sure about other items especially at the onset of the pandemic.
Worth noting is the fact that counties have now been forced to continue promoting the chain of corruption by acquiring PPEs at extremely high prices from the Kenya Medical and Supplies Authority, KEMSA despite the PPEs being readily available in the market at lower prices.
Besides, the price of the PPEs should be lower than that of the market price especially now that KEMSA is acquiring them in bulk. What happened to the economy of scales?