Kemsa relied on hopes of donor, emergency funding for procurement, Manjari says

Kemsa relied on hopes of donor, emergency funding during procurement, Manjari says

In Summary

• The Committee chaired by Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege questioned the suspended official on Kemsa's role in the procurement of Covid-19 items.

•Manjari was suspended last month following allegations that the authority flouted procurement regulations.

Suspended Kemsa CEO Jonah Manjari.
Suspended Kemsa CEO Jonah Manjari.
Image: FILE

Suspended Kemsa boss Jonah Manjari has defended questionable procurement at the state agency, saying the process was done in the best interest of the country.

Manjari on Thursday said the agency was faced with difficult choices to make at a time the country was threatened by the fast-spreading pandemic and a number of global suppliers, including China and India had locked down.

Appearing before the National Assembly Health Committee, Manjari said Kemsa had to make a tough decision as there was a serious threat to the health workers in the country who were the frontline soldiers.

“It is for the passion that I have for this health industry and health care workers, I really needed to protect them and not have a situation witnessed in other countries,” he told the lawmakers.

“At the time, Kemsa had already passed the 2019/20 budget and by March 2020 when the pandemic was declared, there was no budget in Kemsa for Covid, so we rode on the assumption that being a pandemic we will be able to get funds from an emergency fund, donors and MoH and reserve at Kemsa.”

The Committee chaired by Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege questioned the suspended official on Kemsa's role in the procurement of Covid-19 items.

Manjari was suspended last month following allegations that the authority flouted procurement regulations.

He was suspended alongside Charles Juma (head of procurement) and Eliud Mureithi (commercial director) to allow EACC complete investigations into the matter.