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Uhuru fires entire KEMSA board

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KEMSA officials at the Authorities Headquarters in Nairobi. Photo/Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent home the entire Kenya Medical Supllies Authority (KEMSA) board.

The President has sacked the board Chairperson Kembi Gitura replacing him with Mary Chao Mwadime who will serve for a three-year term.

According to April 28 Gazette notice, the change of guard will take effect on Friday April 30, thus automatically revoking James Kembi Gitura’s appointment as KEMSA Chairperson.

In the same Gazette notice, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has appointed Capt. (Rtd) Lawrence Wahome, Robert Nyarango, and Terry Kiunge Ramadhani to the KEMSA Board of Directors for a three-year term period beginning Friday, April 30, 2021.

Timothy Mwololo Waema, Bibiana K. Njue, Joel Onsare Gesuka, and Dorothy Atieno Aywak’s appointments as KEMSA board members have been revoked.

Massaging corruption

Mr. Gitura was transferred to the Communications Regulatory Authority earlier this month, amid an ongoing investigation into the Ksh7.8 billion Covid-19 procurement scandal at KEMSA, Kenyans scoffed at the move by President Uhuru.

The new appointments come just days after the United States for the first time declared its stand on the ARV stand off, with US Secretary of State, Anthony J Blanken saying corruption at KEMSA was the elephant in the room.

“We have had an issue with KEMSA, the institution responsible for the distribution, and as you know very well, concerns in particular about corruption that i know the government is working to reform. we have an obligation to our own taxpayers when we’re spending their money to do it in a way that is accountable and fully transparent,” Blinked said on Wednesday in an interview with Kenya’s Citizen Television.

USAID had refused to release the consignment demanding that a private US based company, Chemonics International, be the distributor before the drugs are released.