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Former KEMSA Chairperson Kembi Gitura is among officials facing a probe/FILE

KEMSA PROBE

ODPP denies stalling Sh7.8bn COVID supplies probe at KEMSA

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 7 – The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) has denied reports that the probe on Sh7.8 billion Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) graft scandal has stalled.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Emily Kamau clarified that the agency had acted on the inquiry files by identifying areas for further investigation and forwarded the same to the anti-corruption body, EACC.

“The position of the OPP is that we have acted on the inquiry file by identifying the areas of further investigation and the same has been communicated to the EACC for their action,” stated Kamau

Citizen Television established in a recent report that a year after the EACC presented files to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution recommending charges, the latter is yet to return the files.

“The reporting by Citizen Tv was inaccurate, malicious and misleading as it is obvious a lot of work has been going on in the KEMSA probe, and the EACC and ODPP have been working together to ensure this matter of great importance is exhaustively handled,” ODPP said in a statement on Thursday.

Kamau further clarified that the only files retained by the public prosecutor are duplicates which do not in any way stall investigations.

EACC first submitted the file to the ODPP on September 11, 2020, recommending the prosecution of suspended KEMSAmanagers and the CEO’s personal assistant.

On October 2, the ODPP returned the file for further investigations after which EACC resubmitted the same on October 22.

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ODPP sought further adjustments, which the EACC resubmitted on November 19 with the fresh recommendations after which no further developments were reported.

The National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee in a report submitted in September laid bare the rot in procurement of COVID-19 supplies by KEMSA as most company directors violated the laws.

The Committee recommended that the EACC investigates former KEMSA board Chairperson Kembi Gitura, Joel Onsare and other former board members.

Also recommended for probe was suspended CEO Jonah Manjari, Director of Procurement Charles Juma, Finance Director Waiganjo Karanja and Head of Legal Services Ferdinand Wanyonyi for dereliction of duty.

A special audit revealed that taxpayers may have lost up to Sh3.2 billion in irregular payments.

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