Kemsa supplier tells of Covid prediction in Sh225 million tender probe

In Summary

• His firm Meldian Enterprise Ltd is among dozens the committee is probing dealings with Kemsa and whether the law was followed in the procurement.

•The PIC probe followed an Auditor General report which flagged the procurement, and questioned regularity of the payments made so far.

Public investment committee chairman Abdulswamad Nassir.
Public investment committee chairman Abdulswamad Nassir.
Image: FILE

A Kemsa supplier on Tuesday wowed a House committee probing the controversial purchases of Covid-19 items with accounts of how he predicted the virus would hit the country.

Joel Ndegwa told the Public Investments Committee that he in December 2019 projected that there would be business at the medical supplies authority.

He sent word to his wife Lydia who secured a contract of Sh225 million.

They have been paid Sh117 million for the purported supplies or protective equipment for medical workers.

Ndegwa told the Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir chaired committee that he was working in Iraq when he secured the tender.

His firm Meldian Enterprise Ltd is among dozens the committee is probing dealings with Kemsa and whether the law was followed in the procurement.

The PIC probe followed an Auditor General report which flagged the procurement, and questioned regularity of the payments made so far.

Ndegwa said that for him, he committed no wrong as he saw an opportunity to supply the kits comprising suits, gloves, masks, goggles and shoes.

He therefore asked his wife, a co-director with 70 per cent shareholding, to make plans to get the tender, which he said fell under direct procurement.

“I did my research on who was supplying what and at what price. We sent one of our employees to Kemsa and she was directed to the procurement department,” he said.

The worker identified as Margaret Murage went to the offices on a Friday and had second the tender by Tuesday of the following week.

Ndegwa said he is owed Sh108 million adding he didn't see if there was need for bidding.

“No bidding was needed, Ndegwa told MPs he sourced cash from friends and other lenders to source the supplies.

He further told the committee that the items were sourced locally from two companies on Mombasa Road and Ngong Road respectively.

The committee questioned how he knew of the virus attack, considering the ministry of health declared the first case in March.

He denied getting the tender through influential individuals.

Lawmakers said his account of the events was not adding up.

This was after Ndegwa failed to explain how he knew of the local suppliers.

He claimed he had known the two companies through Facebook and Twitter but the two entities have no media presence. but a quick search by the committee revealed that the two companies are not on social media.