President William Ruto has terminated the appointment of Josephine Mburu as the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards and dissolved the entire Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board.
In a statement signed by Felix Koskei, Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, the President further revoked the appointment of the chairperson regarding alleged impropriety within KEMSA.
“His Excellency The President has been briefed on the complaints of alleged impropriety within the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) in its management and administration of various medical programmes being undertaken by Kenya in conjunction with our development partners.
“The complaints follow the regular verification of expenditure by the Global Fund with regard to the National Malaria Programme that targets millions of low-income Kenyan households within our nation’s malaria-endemic regions. The alleged maladministration on the part of KEMSA is with regard to the procurement of treated mosquito nets for those vulnerable households, which could have led to significant exposure to the disease and an increase in its severity in the endemic regions,” the statement read in part.
The President enforced the changes in affirmation of the Kenya Kwanza administration’s commitment to entrenching the ethos of good governance within Kenya’s national life by promoting accountability and openness in the management of public affairs.
Ruto appointed Irungu Nyakera as the Chairperson of the Board in accordance with the procedure set out under Section 5(1) (a) of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority Act.
Further, he noted that Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha Wafula undertake the following remedial action:
Appoint Dr Andrew Mutava Mulwa as the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).
Reconstitute the Board of KEMSA by appointing the following as members, namely:
FCPA Hezbon Oyieko Omollo,
Bernard Kipkirui Bett,
Dr Jane Masiga
Jane Nyagaturi Mbatia
The Chief Executive Officer of KEMSA Terry Ramadhani was suspended, alongside the following other concerned staff serving within the Ministry of Health (MOH) National Malaria Programme and KEMSA, namely:
Martin Wamwea (MOH),
Lenson Kariuki (MOH),
Dr Pauline Duya (MOH),
Livingstone Njuguna (MOH),
Dr Charles Kariuki Chege (MOH),
Justus Kinoti (KEMSA),
Cosmas Rotich (KEMSA) and
Anthony Chege (KEMSA).
President Ruto further directed the new management to assure the propriety of procurement processes within the Authority.
“The Head of State and Government is committed to heralding a new era in the management of our nation’s healthcare by ensuring that no Kenyan will be denied the dignity of affordable medical care due to corruption.
“Therefore, in keeping with the Administration’s Health policy of “leaving no one behind”, the Administration will spare no effort in rebuilding the KEMSA supply chain management system so as to secure efficiency and accountability in the provision of medical supplies to all health facilities across our nation,” added the Head of State.
Josephine Mburu was fired just five months after assuming office and becomes the first-ever PS in Ruto’s government to be terminated while in office. The action came just 24 hours after he declared that he would do whatever it takes to clean up the agency.
“Watch this space. I am doing something about it. You will see results. I want to give you my commitment I will clean up KEMSA, whatever it takes, whatever it costs, I will clean it up,” Ruto told journalists during a joint media interview at State House on Sunday, May 14.
The Global Fund
The Global Fund was forced to cancel a Ksh3.7 billion mosquito nets tender owing to KEMSA’s irregular procurement process.
The foreign agency had discovered irregularities on KEMSA’s part during the procurement of the long-lasting insecticide mosquito nets, raising an issue with KEMSA’s technical evaluation committee report, citing multiple procurement gaps, including lack of pagination, contention on request for a manufacturing certificate from a manufacturer, and lack of uniformity in identifying the winning and losing bids.
In the report where KEMSA had identified Partecea East Africa as the winning bidder, the Global Fund audit found that none of the bids was responsive.
Ramadhani however defended the alleged bungled procurement tender, as claimed in the Global Fund’s audit, and insisted that the authority’s technical evaluation report was factual, during an interview with Citizen TV.