NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – Amani National Congress Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi on Sunday asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into claims of graft surrounding COVID-19 supplies procurement.
Mudavadi said the health ministry and Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) procurement system should be investigated to unearth fraud.
He underscored that the commission route is the only avenue to find answers on a worrying trend of graft at the health ministry.
The Mutahi Kagwe led-ministry has in recent days been in the eye of a storm over graft allegations where millions of shillings for the COVID-19 fight are believed to have been misappropriated.
“I am by no way infatuated with proposing judicial commissions of inquiry whenever things get skewed, but here things have indeed gone haywire and only such an inquiry will soften the hearts of our developmental partners who threaten to abandon us at our hour of most need because of our insatiable dishonesty,” he said on Sunday at the party’s headquarters.
Mudavadi stressed that members of the commission will enjoy immunity as opposed to the existing investigative agencies like the Ethics Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) which he said are already overwhelmed with the country’s existing corruption cases and risk been influenced to arrive at a predetermined outcome.
“The public is restless and now requires answers, resources have been lost and if they have not been lost why would anyone be scared of a judicial commission of inquiry, if you believe you have done nothing wrong then come forward and be prepared to face the commission in the eyes of the public,” he noted.
With the global funding entities such as US Aid and Global Fund already threatening to withdraw Sh400 billion worth of funding, Mudavadi challenged the President to act fast on the matter.
He noted that the Head of State risks tainting his legacy if he does not handle the matter with the seriousness it deserves and ensure culprits involved are brought to book.
“Overall, the results of such an inquiry must prescribe a definite precise and binding action against those found culpable and only then shall the country come to terms with whatever is happening at the Ministry of Health.”
While reacting to ODM party’s appeal for a delayed EACC probe on KEMSA pending an audit, Mudavadi termed the proposal as cheeky and mischievous.
He noted the Office of the Auditor General is already swamped with audits dating back to 2017 hence engaging on the KEMSA probe would derail the audit agency.
“To the best of my knowledge there is a backlog because when the outgoing Auditor General left it took quite sometime for them to appoint another and by the time the current gets moving they will start from where the backlog is,” he said.
He maintained that the EACC route will inordinately take long to yield results citing the Aaror and Kimwarer dam scandal that is yet to be successfully prosecuted.
ODM on Saturday called on Auditor General Nancy Gathungu to expedite her probe into suspected cases of procurement irregularities at KEMSA amid reports of rampant graft.
KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari, suspended Commercial Director Eliud Murithi and Procurement Director Charles Juma sent on leave on August 14 to pave way for investigations over allegations of flouting procurement regulations.