President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the ministry of health to make public tenders and procurement done by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) within 39 days.
Speaking during a virtual conference on Monday, Uhuru said the move was for the sake of transparency and a way to win the Kenyan people’s trust.
“The ministry should come up with a transparent, open method through which tenders done by Kemsa are available online,” he said.
“Kenyan people have a right to know how their funds are being utilised.”
Also present during the virtual gathering was Deputy President William Ruto, Council of Governors chairman and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, and cabinet secretaries.
Kemsa is currently on the spot over the loss of billions in bad procurement decisions.
An exposé by NTV revealed that some Sh43 billion meant to go towards the fight against COVID-19 had been misappropriated.
In light of this revelation, the agency CEO Jonah Manjari, Eliud Muriithi (Commercial) and Charles Jume (Procurement) were suspended on August 14.
Appearing before a senate committee last Friday, Manjari dragged health CS Mutahi Kagwe, his PS Susan Mochache into the scandal.
He claimed that the agency received direct orders from the ministry on what to procure, where and at what price.
Manjari told senators that he received numerous calls and text messages on the procurement decisions.
“We got various requests from the Health CS, the PS Susan Mochache and a member of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Board. The requests were in form of phone calls, text messages and even emails,” Manjari revealed.
Uhuru on Wednesday ordered investigative agencies; EACC and DCI to conclude investigations into the loss in 21 days.
Last week, National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) issued a 60-day notice for the Auditor General to carry out a forensic audit at KEMSA.
“A maximum of 60 days from the day of this communication to undertake this forensic audit…in one month we expect a preliminary report…,” said PAC Chair Opiyo Wandayi.