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Officials flag off medical supplies from KEMSA Headquarters in July 2018. The agency is at the centre of a COVID-19 medical supplies' corruption probe.

Capital Health

Govt replaces Kembi Gitura, 4 board members at KEMSA

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe also revoked the appointment of four KEMSA board members: Timothy Mwololo Waema, Dorothy Atieno, Bibiana Njue, and Joel Chisare.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday reconstituted the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) board replacing its Chairperson Kembi Gitura.

The President, in a gazette notice dated April 28 named Chao Mwadime board Chairperson. Kembi Gitura whose appointment as KEMSA Chairman was revoked Thursday was in March appointed Chairman of the Communications Authority fo Kenya.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe also revoked the appointment of four KEMSA board members: Timothy Mwololo Waema, Dorothy Atieno, Bibiana Njue, and Joel Chisare.

He appointed Lawrence Wahome, Robert Nyirangu, Terry Kiunge Ramadhani and Linkon Nyaga Kinyua in their place.

The new board members will start their terms in office on April 30 for a period of three years.

The new appointment comes at a time the agency is facing a probe over a multi-billion shilling saga on the irregular award of tenders.

A Senate Joint Committee on Health and Adhoc Committee on COVID-19, in March 2021 accused the KEMSA board of failure to oversee procurement of COVID-19 items.

A Report on the Utilization of COVID-19 Funds by KEMSA, presented to the Committee by the Auditor General, Nancy Gathungu noted that KEMSA had irregularly issued commitment letters amounting to Sh7.78 billion to various suppliers, out of which supplies of Sh7.632 billion had been delivered to KEMSA with an amount of Sh4.712 billion having been paid out already.

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“Accountability in the use and management of public resources is not set aside because there is an emergency. Retrospective Direct Procurement is allowed with each entity having their pre-approved systems and procedures on how to apply them,” Gathungu said.

“Given the inefficiency in the procurement process and the fact that 97 per cent of supplies [worth Sh6.35 billion] procured were still lying in KEMSA Warehouses as at the time of audit, there was no value for money realized,” the report said in part.

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