Chairman defends Kemsa against claims of irregularities

Says board is sealing loopholes and he is willing to discuss reports and price lists.

In Summary

• Kembi said reports published by several media outlets were not entirely true, said he was willing to discuss the reports and Kemsa's price list. 

• He said his board is sealing loopholes to streamline its operations.

Kemsa chairman Kembi Gitura presemting PPE to Kiria-ini Mission Hospital administrator Charles Okemwa on Tuesday.
DEFENDS KEMSA: Kemsa chairman Kembi Gitura presemting PPE to Kiria-ini Mission Hospital administrator Charles Okemwa on Tuesday.

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority chairman Kembi Gitura has defended the agency against allegations of financial and procurement irregularities.

Kembi said on Tuesday the accusations were not entirely truthful but he did not elaborate on what was true and what was not.

He did say, however, his board is sealing loopholes to provide the best health products and technologies to support the government’s Big Four agenda. He did not identify the loopholes.


The Kemsa chairman was speaking at Kiria-ini Mission Hospital in Mathioya where he donated personal protective equipment, sanitiser, face masks and gloves.

A joint audit report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Fund said there were massive financial and procurement irregularities at Kemsa.

It said Kemsa was taking advantage of its monopoly in supplying drugs to public health facilities to overcharge counties by as much as 77 per cent for some drugs.

The audit proposed restructuring the entire procurement system and establishment of a new accountability system.

Kembi said will gladly provide interviews and discuss Kemsa’s activities and its price lists, to identify the truths and untruths in the report.

“A lot of the things reported on the media were bereft of truth. When you talk about the sale of expired drugs and over pricing, it is always important to verify the facts so what is published is not one-sided,” he said.

“My visit here is also to see what hospitals are doing to help the government achieve universal health coverage,” the Kemsa boss said.


He said no institution can be perfect and the biggest mistake is knowingly repeating a mistake.

Kembi said the government has formed a multi-agency team to establish the preparedness of health facilities countrywide to combat Covid-19.

He said it is visiting all public, private and faith-based facilities. He is a member of the team deployed to Nairobi county.

“The team is taking stock of how many ICU and isolation beds they have and how prepared they are,” Kembi said.

He said it is everyone’s responsibility to protect themselves and their loved one by following health protocols as the government strengthens the health sector.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday detailed what the scourge can do to the country “if we are not careful,” Kembi said.

He is the immediate former Murang’a senator and former Senate deputy speaker.

Former Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau accompanied Kembi and donated a tonne of maize flour.

He urged the government to fund faith-based institutions to help them serve Kenyans at a subsidised cost.

“This Kiria-ini Mission Hospital has three ICU beds and more than five HDU (high dependency unit) beds. With the government’s support, these facilities can go a long way in making health services available at the grassroots,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)