PS Mochache Demands Apology For Kemsa Mess Links

KEY POINTS

  • In a letter to the public procurement watchdog board chairman Andrew Musangi, the PS protested the authority's assertion that she was involved in the multi-billion scandal at Kemsa.
  • Juma told the joint Health and hoc committee on Covid-19 that Mochache directed the Kemsa CEO Johan Manjari, through a letter, to procure Covid-19 equipment from specific suppliers at a specific price and in specific quantities.
  • But Mochache declined the claims and instead accused Juma of peddling false information on a matter that had been addressed.
  • According to her, her concerns in the matter were solely on the budget and she did not intend to manage or direct the procurement process at Kemsa.

Health PS Susan Mochache is demanding an apology from the Public Procurement Regularity Authority (PPRA) over a statement linking her to the scandal at Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

In a letter to the public procurement watchdog board chairman Andrew Musangi, the PS protested the authority’s assertion that she was involved in the multi-billion scandal at Kemsa.

“In the circumstances, therefore, I demand that the DG or PPRA itself give an apology and provide the correct facts to set the record straight and bare the truth to the public,” she said in the letter.

Mochache’s letter comes after PPRA director-general Maurice Juma appeared by the Senate committee probing the Kemsa procurement and placed her at the center of the mess.

Juma told the joint Health and hoc committee on Covid-19 that Mochache directed the Kemsa CEO Johan Manjari, through a letter, to procure Covid-19 equipment from specific suppliers at a specific price and in specific quantities.

“There was a letter…by Susan N Mochache, Ministry of Health, instructing the PE to disregard all other requests made concerning Covid-19 as they had been captured therein, including the list items to be procured, their quantities, prices, and firms to be invited,” Juma said.

Juma noted that the instruction by the PS was illegal and should form the basis for investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

“This is irregular because, in the procurement like that done by Kemsa, the MoH should have just referred the matter to Kemsa indicating the items to be procured, quantities, specifications and probably the delivery timeframe and where these items were to be delivered to,” he said.

But Mochache declined the claims and instead accused Juma of peddling false information on a matter that had been addressed.

“I wish to write to you to register my deepest exception to this glaringly false statement, which the DG made without the courtesy of seeking any explanation or clarification from me.

“This is even though I had set the record straight and exhaustively addressed this matter when the CS for Health and I appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Health on September 2, 2020,” she said.

According to Mochache, she was not the originator of the list of firms and prices from where Kemsa would procure the items. She said Kemsa, upon her request, submitted a status report on the procurement of COVID-19-related items submitted to her via email on April 1, 2020, by Kemsa CEO.

The report shows that Kemsa committed to procuring about Sh2.1 billion worth of items. Out of which, items worth Sh149 million had been delivered, leaving a balance of around Sh2 billion.

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Mochache in her latter said, the report contained among other details, the names of the suppliers and prices of items.

“This commitment was way above the available resources amounting to Sh758 million. As a result of this revelation, I called a meeting on April 6, 2020, intending to address the discrepancies between what the ministries had requisitioned and what Kemsa had ordered,” she said.

She says it was at the meeting that she asked Kemsa to rationalize the budget to match it with what the ministry had been allocated for PPEs – Sh758 million. Subsequently, through an email, Kemsa downscaled the procurement  budget to align it with the ministry’s budget calling of Sh758 million

“The document submitted by Kemsa again contained details on the commodities to be procured, the suppliers, and prices. It was clear from the Kemsa email April 7, 2020, that it was Kemsa who provided the details of suppliers and commodity prices while submitting the rationalized budget,” she added.

According to her, her concerns in the matter were solely on the budget and she did not intend to manage or direct the procurement process at Kemsa.

Related: Kiraitu Murungi, CS Kagwe, and PS Mochache linked to Kemsa Scandal. 

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