Kagwe denies meddling in Kemsa Covid tenders award

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe. Photo/Gerald Ithana

Irene Githinji and Hillary Mageka

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe yesterday distanced himself from claims that he meddled in the award of tenders for purchase of Covid-19 supplies at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.

According to Kagwe, he only asked the medical supplies agency suspended chief executive officer Jonah Manjari to procure locally manufactured items.

“I told Manjari that we must buy locally manufactured products and stop importation of Personal Protective equipment (PPEs),” he told People Daily.

He added: “It is a normal practice for CSs to consult and direct government policies to all government parastatals and Kemsa is not an exception.”

Kagwe spoke as President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Health to develop a transparent mechanism through which all tendering is done at Kemsa.

Transparent mechanism

The President said that the ministry should ensure tendering procedures by Kemsa are available online for Kenyans to see how they are awarded.

“I direct that the Ministry of Health must, within 30 days come with a transparent mechanism through which all tenders and procurement by Kemsa are available online so that everyone can know who has been awarded, what was it for, the value, re-evaluation bidding and the final awarding,” the President directed during closure of the Covid-19 virtual conference yesterday.

The President said that this level of transparency in procurement will go a long way for Kenyans to have confidence on the people placed in public institutions and that they can manage resources in a prudent manner.

“As we start with the Ministry of Health, this is something we must move into for all government departments, be they in the national government, counties or other arms of government.

The people have a right to know how their funds are utilised,” the President said.

Kagwe on his part regretted that issues surrounding coronavirus procurement have been ‘politicised’ and ‘weaponised’.

He admitted that transparency will be better enhanced in procurement if dedication is directed on ICT.

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