Firms’ bosses risk jail for failing to honour summons

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 00:00 |
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir. Photo/PD/KENNA

Directors of four firms that were at the centre of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) scandal risk being jailed for failing to honour summons to appear before the Public Investments Committee (PIC).

Standing Orders require that if one fails to honour summons to appear, the committee can cite the individual for contempt.

Firms which were to appear before the committee which is probing the irregular purchase of Covid related materials by Kemsa included Shop N Buy, Nanopy Limited and Medilife Biological Ltd. 

Directors of Megascope Ltd appeared but the session was held in camera.

It was the second time that Shop N buy, which is being investigated over a Sh970 million tender has failed to appear before the committee. 

PIC is investigating about 100 companies implicated in the scandal.

Committee chairman Abdulswamad Nassir said the firms had been given adequate time to appear but chose to give it a wide berth.

Yesterday, committee members questioned the audit report citing errors in some of the payments contained in the Auditor General’s findings.

The special audit had, for instance, pointed out that Shop N Buy received Sh970 million while Nanopay received Sh340 million from Kemsa.

But yesterday, auditors said they had identified an error in the report suggesting that Nanopay only received Sh34 million.

MPs demanded a proper explanation about the said errors, saying an audit report should be thorough and devoid of any errors.

Mandatory requirement

“How can this be a typo, how can the one zero be missing. These reports are done by qualified officers and they are checked and counter checked before presentation for signing,” posed Mishi Mboko (Likoni).

Nassir said the firms will have to appear to explain the errors, saying there was a lot of information still lacking which needed to be explained.

 “It is evident that all the 102 firms involved used the same system. They all supplied before they were called to come and negotiate with Kemsa. This was totally against the law.” Said Nassir who is also the  Mvita MP.

A report by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to the committee has revealed that only 13 out of the 102 firms were tax compliant. 

The report shows that only 13 companies applied for the Import Declaration Form (IDF), which is a mandatory requirement for importers.

It has also emerged that Kilig Limited, which is also at the centre of the alleged Kemsa scandal, changed ownership three times.

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