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Suspended Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jonah Manjari. /CFM-FILE.

Corona Virus

Senate demands proof of KEMSA CEO hospitalization after failed appearance

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – The Senate Health Committee issued a demand of a proof that suspended Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari was indeed sick after he missed a grilling session on Friday morning.

The committee’s chairperson Mbito Michael Malinga ruled that the Senate Clerk should receive a letter signed by the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) CEO by 2pm before the committee resumed its afternoon sitting. 

“We mean business as a committee and we are disappointed that the CEO is not here, because this is the man who oversaw the rot at KEMSA,” he said.

Malinga said failure to do so will attract major sanctions. 

“It is unfortunate  if its true that he is not feeling but for the next three hours, we must get a letter signed by the CEO of the hospital addressed to the clerk because we want to reconvene at afternoon and discuss sanctions if we do not get the letter,” he said.

Malinga further summoned the KEMSA board next week to give their account on the graft allegations at the agency. 

“Our secretariat will be sending letters that we meet board of KEMSA next week, there are reports that the board was doing parallel procurement and so , we want to talk with the board.” he added.

Manjari, suspended Commercial Director Eliud Murithi and Procurement Director Charles Juma were last week sent on leave to pave way for investigations over allegations of flouting procurement regulations.

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They were sent home to allow the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to complete investigations on COVID-19 procurement irregularities and alleged misuse of funds.

Kisii Senator Samson Kegengo Ongeri, who is also a committee member said the mystery on the loss of funds at the agency is wanting adding that the absence of the CEO during the session should not be taken lightly.

“Seeing the chronology of events as they are developing, I think there is collusion of the highest order, I am very disappointed that he is not here,. The necessary legal actions must be applied,” he told committee members.

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