Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has come under public scrutiny regarding the theft and corruption involving the misuse of the covid-19 funds. The massive loot and theft at this government agency has been a headache for Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to stomp-up corruption in the country. But some people believe Uhuru Kenyatta himself or at least family members and or his friends are part of the cartel that is looting public funds in the country.
Before the airing of the Covid-19 Millionaires by NTV, there has been other corruption scandal involving the covid-19 funds. Remember the Ksh. 4 million the Ministry of Health used for tea and mandazis in one month? Whereas the Ksh. 4 million is not a lot of money, the exaggerated price amounts to corruption. Yet we know that nobody was punished for this type of looting.
Within three weeks of Kenya reported the first confirmed case of Covid-19, Kenya’s Ministry of Health spent Ksh. 1.3 billion in the fight against Covid-19.
The breakdown of the expenses were as follows: Ksh. 42 million to lease 15 ambulances at Ksh. 2.8 million each, Ksh. 10.1 million for tea and mandazis with at least Ksh 4 million already spent, Ksh. 9 million for the printing of traveller’s quarantine and discharge forms.
It is worth to note that the planned cost of printing the quarantine and discharge forms was Ksh. 900,000. How the Ministry of Health came up spending more than 10 times the allocated budget is anyone’s guess.
Uhuru Kenyatta’s government just ignored it and yet it tells the Kenyan citizens that the government is serious about fighting corruption in the country. What the government officials fail to understand is that Kenyans want action not just merely telling the citizens what their government is capable of doing.
Based on the country’s history of high level corruption, one can say that Uhuru Kenyatta and his government could have or ought to have known that the covid-19 funds was subject to theft by all involved in the allocation of government tenders.
As such, Uhuru Kenyatta could have directed or appointed certain people to be tasked with checking and verifying all tenders allocated to ascertain their accuracy.
This is more so with regards to the costs of procuring medical supplies to combat coronavirus by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa). But all of us know that did not happen. There were no checks and balances put in place to monitor the allocation of tenders to companies to supply such much needed medical supplies.
The results of such failures is massive theft, graft and corruption at Kemsa that has drawn heavy condemnation form domestic and international donors alike. But the question is this: Could this have been avoided? The answer is a resounding Yes! Before we get into what could have been done to prevent the misuse of donor funds meant to combat covid-19 at Kemsa, let us look at what exactly happened.
The corruption at Kemsa involves the allocation of Covid-19 tenders to some shady companies to provide the Kemri and the Ministry of Health with PPE equipment and supplies in its effort to fight the scourge of Covid-19. These said companies grossly exaggerated the price of the supplies and PPE equipment needed by Kemsa.
Kemsa went ahead and placed orders with these companies despite the obvious misrepresentations on the quotes submitted for approval. Below is a list of companies that Kemsa awarded the contract to supply the Covid-19 supplies but did so at exaggerated prices.
It is safe to say that Kemsa was part of the problem for not spotting the theft by shopping around for the said supplies.
|Name of the Company Awarded Tender||Covid-19 Supplies Required by Kemsa||Actual Market Price per Unit (Ksh)||Price per Unit Quoted to Kemsa (Ksh)|
|Kilig Limited||450,000 Full PPE Kits and N95 Masks||4,500||9,000|
|Shop N’ Buy Limited||100,000 N95 masks||200||700|
|Accenture Kenya Limited||12,000 PPE Kits||4,500||9,000|
|Abyssinia Group of Industries||30,000 N95 masks||200||900|
|Bell Industries||15,000 PPE Kits||4,500||9,000|
|Medlife Biologicals Limited||200,000 KN95 Masks||200||900|
|Nanopay Limited||50,000 KN95 Masks||200||900|
|Light Up Africa Limited||50,000 pieces of 500ml Sanitizers||200||500|
|Ziwala Kenya Limited||120,000 KN95 Masks||200||700|
|Wallabies Ventures Limited||10,000 PPE Kits||4,500||9,000|
|Wonderjoy Party World Limited||Tea and Snacks for 30 employees||900,000||10 million|
It is worth noting that some of the companies above are headed by politicians in the ruling Jubilee Party or their friends. For example Uhuru Kenyatta’s own niece has been implicated int he Covid-19 Kemsa corruption scandal.
Uhuru Kenyatta’s niece’s name is Samantha Ngina Muthama who together with June Nduta Kinyua own Ziwala Kenya Limited, a company that received a tender to supply 120,000 KN95 Mask at an inflated price of Ksh. 700 each against actual price of only Ksh. 200 per piece.
This is not the first time president Uhuru Kenyatta’s family members have been involved in corruption scandals, in 2016, ODM party Leader Mr. Raila Odinga linked Uhuru Kenyatta’s sister, Nyokabi (who is actually Samantha Ngina Muthama’s mum) to the Ksh. 8.5 billion Afya House corruption scandal.
In that scandal, Sandales International received Ksh. 41 million from the Ministry of Health. This was part of the more than Ksh 5 billion donation from the United States meant for free maternity care.
Apart from Nyokabi, Uhuru Kenyatta’s cousin Kihanya was also mentioned as a director of Scandales International. Kihanya was also the CDF chair when Uhuru Kenyatta was an MP for Gatundu South.
Following Dennis Okari’s NTV program Covid19 Millionaires aired last week, Uhuru Kenyatta has faced harsh criticism form Kenya’s leaders. Deputy president William Ruto has hammered ODM party by accusing ODM Party leader Raila Odinga of trying to defend the rot at Kemsa.
This comes a day after ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna on Saturday tried to downplay the fraud at Kemsa by accusing the media of sensationalizing the rot. Mr. Ruto termed ODM as “Lords of Corruption”.
The deputy president said ODM’s handshake with Uhuru Kenyatta was not meant to unite the country, but rather, it was only interested in getting an opportunity to loot taxpayers’ money with impunity.
The Covid-19 scandal at Kemsa has also attracted international attention. For example, USAID and Global Fund has threatened to withdraw more than Ksh. 400 billion earmarked for Kenya after the corruption at Kemsa was revealed. The money being withdrawn was meant to support HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria programs for the next three years.
The two international donors quoted the current scandals at Kemsa regarding the procurement of medical supplies as reasons for the planned withdrawal of funds.