NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 — The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) now wants the appointment of KEMSA CEO Terry Kiunge Ramadhani revoked citing lack of qualifications and what they termed as vested interests.
Speaking to journalists Friday, PSK threatened to seek legal action against KEMSA if it fails to rescind the decision to appoint Kiunge into the position arguing that her appointment to the position is in violation of provisions of the KEMSA Act.
“If this appointment of an unqualified and unsuitable person to be the substantive CEO of KEMSA is not rescinded within the next 48 hours. We are ready to stand with the law, towards seeking further legal sanctions against the Board, if the said Board does not reverse this illegality,” said Dr Louis Machogu, President PSK.
Machogu said that for the success of the Big Four agenda on Universal Health coverage, the appointment of the CEO of KEMSA should be “purely on merit and not connections.”
He further accused KEMSA has of undermining and disregard the tenets of the constitution and a host of public service statutes on public appointment.
“Section 8(2)(a) of the KEMSA Act amended through the Health Laws Amendment Act 2019 clearly states the minimum qualifications of the CEO of KEMSA vis; Holds a minimum of the first degree in pharmacy, medicine, business management, finance, supply chain management, or any other related field from a recognized university. Terry Kiunge does not meet this requirement,” he stated.
He pointed out that the major function of KEMSA is procurement, warehousing, and distribution of health products and technologies arguing that the CEO position deserves to be held by a qualified individual.
“We find it hard to understand why the KEMSA board would settle on a candidate who has no experience in health commodities supply chain management yet there were other more qualified and experienced candidates who applied for the position,” he added.
The PSK President went further to say that Kiunge who was a former member of the KEMSA Board was the chair of the human resource committee of the Board that developed the job description and job specifications of the KEMSA CEO position only to resign as a board member before applying to the position which he argued, she had tailor-made for herself.
He further pointed out that the appointed CEO was a board member on the same KEMSA board that appointed her.
“There couldn’t be a clearer example of conflict of interest and bad corporate governance,” Machogu said.
On his part, Dr Kamamia Wa Murichu, the chairman of the Kenya Pharmaceutical distributors Association, said that the country has enough pharmacists in the country who are better qualified for the position urging President Kenyatta and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to rescind the decision warning that they will take to the streets if the decision is not reversed.
He echoed the sentiments of his counterpart, Machogu that Ramadhani is underqualified noting that KEMSA is already undergoing many challenges that needed to be addressed
“The Judiciary is not headed by a mechanic, it is headed by a lawyer who has gone through the whole process, Central bank is not headed by a teacher it is headed by somebody who is trained in that area. Schools, universities are headed by academicians so why should KEMSA be headed by a person whose qualification is Human Resource,” he posed.