LEADER

Parliament should harmonise Kemsa probe

This is not only just a matter of the possible loss of billions, this touches on the lives of millions of Kenyans.

In Summary

• It has emerged that those tasked with protecting Kenyans from the pandemic may just have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

• Kemsa management fingered none other than Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and his PS Susan Mochache over the procurement mess at the agency.

Kemsa board chairman Kembi Gitura when he appeared before the senate over the alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 funds on August.27, 2020.
Kemsa board chairman Kembi Gitura when he appeared before the senate over the alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 funds on August.27, 2020.
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA 

The public was last week treated to blame game between the Ministry of Health top officials and the management of the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency over what happened in regard to the use of Covid-19 funds.

 As this happened the country's Covid-19  death toll inched closer to 600. 

The National Assembly Health committee and the Senate Ad hoc committee on Covid-19 Situation in the Country are separately probing the alleged procurement irregularities at Kemsa.

 

The Senate heard that ministry officials pressed Kemsa to procure items running into billions of shillings at inflated prices in  disregard of procurement laws.

Kemsa chairman Kembi Gitura and suspended CEO Jonah Manjari  appeared to shift blame to their bosses at the Ministry of Health.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe  is this week  expected to appear before the National Assembly Committee on Health to shed more light on the scam.

The Senate committee, on its part, has indicated it will have a session with the CS next week after gathering more information from Kemsa officials. 

What the country is now being treated to is duplication of work by the two committees  of Parliament.  Instead of parallel investigations, the two committees should work hand in hand.

Rather than grilling the same officials separately, it would be more logical if the investigations are harmonised.

This will give Parliament a chance to cover more ground and come up with one detailed and actionable report.

 

The investigations by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission should proceed independently.