By Getrude Matayo
A special audit by the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has shown that Kenyans lost Sh2.3 billion in the Covid-19 items procurement scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
On Wednesday 30th September, the report tabled on the senate shed light on how KEMSA violated several laws, leading to the staggering losses.
The report also reveals fraud in procurement and collusion between KEMSA bosses and the companies that were awarded multi-billion-shilling contracts.
According to the report, it noted that for instance, some of the companies that were awarded multimillion tenders had only been around for a few months.
This indicated possible collusion between these companies and KEMSA’s top brass who have been fingered in the ongoing probe.
According to the auditor General Nancy Gathungu, KEMSA over procured items with Sh6.3 billion which are still lying idle in its warehouses. If the items are sold at the current market prices, KEMSA will only recover Sh4 billion, leading a whopping loss of Sh2.3 billion
The Senate heard that companies that had been around for less than years were awarded contacts without having the necessary qualifications to supply medical equipment.
The report shows that KEMSA illegally and irregularly diverted monies meant for UHC to purchase Covid-19 items without approval of the Ministry of Health
“During the period under review, KEMSA irregularly utilized Universal Health Coverage and Capital Budget to procure Covid-19 related items worth more than 7.6 billion shillings without evidence of approval of the budgets by relevant authorities,” Auditor General said
In recommendations to the Senate, the office of the Auditor General calls government agencies to conduct a probe to establish criminality in the procurement process and collusion between the management and companies awarded the contacts.
“The procurement process was not initiated based on need assessment and planning resulting in over procurement of Covid-19 related stock worth Sh6.3 billion that is still being held at KEMSA warehouses” She added