The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) scandal came to light in August 2020 when President Kenyatta raised the alarm that Ksh 7.8 Billion had been looted in a Covid-19 supplies procurement scandal.
The names released to the press were published by KEMSA in their report on how they did their tendering and awarded contracts to companies. However, this was not enough for the IMF since the information was not published in the Public Procurement Information Portal, a government platform that is accessible by the public. This invites the question: does this mean the list of names released to the press is incomplete?
As the IMF gave these instructions they set a deadline of 30th June for the Kenyan Government to undertake the stated order of revealing the names of the company owners who were beneficiaries from the KEMSA scandal.
The IMF wants the owners of the companies involved in the KEMSA scandal exposed since this is part of the deal if Kenya is to fulfill the agreement they have with IMF in the Ksh 256 Billion programme.
KEMSA Scandal – Three Audit Reports
The uncovering of the KEMSA scandal led to the Auditor General receiving three requests from the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19, the Senate Health Committee and the Public Investment Committee of the National Assembly, to conduct special audits on the utilization of the Covid-19 funds by KEMSA.
The three committees had different scopes of the audits they requested.
The Senate Health Committee in their letter dated 23rd July, 2020 requested that special audit be done on the accounts of KEMSA for the period 2017/2018 – 2019/2020 and on the utilization of the covid-19 funds by the county governments.
The Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19 situation, in their letter dated 4 August, 2020, requested an audit to check the utilization of Covid-19 funds by the county governments.
Then the Public Investment Committee, in their letter dated 31st August 2020, requested the Auditor General to investigate the KEMSA procurement process and the utilization of Covid 19 funds.
KEMSA Audit Reports Findings – Ksh 2.3 Billion Lost
According to the Attorney General’s special audit report on utilization of Covid-19 funds by KEMSA for the period of 13th March to 31st July 2020, it was revealed that Ksh 2.3 Billion was lost in the procuring of Covid-19 medical supplies.
According to the Auditor General, Nancy Gathungu, in her report released in September 2020, it was established that the management of KEMSA commenced procurement of Covid-19 related items on 18th March, 2020 using retrospective direct procurement method without putting in place systems and procedures to guide the use of retrospective direct procurement contrary to Section 69 (2) and Section 45 (1) of the PPADA (Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act), 2015.
The Auditor General also noted that the management of KEMSA violated provisions of PPADA, 2015 in all material aspects. The budgetary process for capital budget also did not comply with PFMA (Public Finance Management Acts), 2012 and there were numerous inefficiencies in the procurement process.
KEMSA has been the subject of three damning reports but will anything now be done to bring the supply companies and their managers to justice?