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Health PS Susan Mochache on the spot over procurement decisions at KEMSA

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has thrown Health PS Susan Mochache and Kemsa CEO Jonah Manjari under the bus over the ill procurement decisions at Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

Appearing before a joint Senate committee on Health and Covid-19 situation, PPRA director-general Maurice Juma accused the PS of directing the authority to make purchases at preset prices and from specific suppliers.

PS Mochache has since denied the claims and has dared the authority to produce the letter giving the KEMSA management directives.

“This is irregular. In the procurement like this one of KEMSA, the Health PS should have just written to KEMSA in terms of quantity, specifications and delivery time frame. That would have sufficed,” Juma told legislators.

Juma told the MPs that investigating the state agency has proven difficult after the latter declined to deliver tender documents relating to 25 procurement processes despite several letters seeking them for verification.

On Tuesday, the National Assembly Committee on Health toured Kemsa premises where they found Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) worth billions lying in storage.

The agency has so far sold Sh. 1 billion worth of medical equipment which means that Sh. 6.2 million worth of equipment is yet to be sold. “KEMSA may have good quality but these items are readily available out there cheaper… They over procured based on projections that the pandemic would would be its peak in October,” Committee chair Sabina Chege said.

“Will the government be willing to buy from KEMSA and distribute to the counties because there is still a need… But at what price? Or are they going to be allowed to sell cheaper and incur losses.”

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