PANDEMIC JOBBERY IN KENYA

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NAIROBI – President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered Kenya’s health ministry to publish details of all purchases made during the coronavirus pandemic following allegations government officials stole millions of dollars of vital medical supplies.

The directive applies particularly to tenders issued by the state-run Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), at the centre of a growing scandal that has prompted strikes at ill-equipped hospitals and street protests.

KEMSA is under fire over allegations government officials and businessmen pilfered $400 million in public money earmarked for medical equipment needed in the fight against coronavirus. 

President Kenyatta last week instructed the anti-corruption commission to expedite its investigation into KEMSA, which is responsible for supplying Kenya’s overwhelmed hospitals treating coronavirus patients. KEMSA’s CEO and other top officials were asked to step aside.

Kenyatta also said the health ministry had 30 days to develop a “transparent” system so that KEMSA’s procurement processes could be published online.