Hundreds of employees at Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) are facing possible job losses as part of aa clean-up of the graft riddled agency.
Reports indicate that the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) has recommended the sacking of about 920 employees, nearly half the state agency’s workforce.
Parliament has been drawn into the new developments with Embakasi East Member of Parliament (MP) seeking seeking a statement in Parliament from the Health Cabinet over the matter.
The Ministry of Health, members of SCAC and KEMSA Board members are reported to have held a meeting in Naivasha recently where the restructuring exercise was mooted, allegedly “to conform with the requirements of the law governing state corporations and semi-autonomous agencies.”
The committee’s mandate is to advise the government on all matters pertaining to the general administration of state corporations.
The proposal to declare nearly half the KEMSA positions redundant is also said to have been endorsed by the Ministry at a subsequent meeting. The Embakasi MP has asked for the Ministry of Health to state how it plans to that those who will be affected by sackings are fully compensated and allowed to continue with their normal lives, and also how it will mitigate against court cases that will emanate from the move.
Following allegations of massive corruption over the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in the country at the beginning of 2020, the Health CS revoked the appointments of Board Members, while the then top managers led by the Chief Executive were all suspended pending investigations.
International donors, among them Global Fund, suspended their funding and demanded thorough investigations and changes to ensure transparency at the national medical agency.
The Global Fund, which mobilizes and invests money to accelerate the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics demanded reforms at the agency and commitment that the graft claims will be addressed as part of the demands that must be met for Kenya to continue receiving grants.
The Auditor General presented an indicting report to Parliament after the President ordered her to audit the expenditure of the Covid funds. The lead anti-graft agency, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) also investigated the procurement of the PPEs and exposed an irregular expenditure of Kshs.7.8 billion at the agency.
The effects of corruption trickles down innocent Kenyans who did not take part in looting funds to protect Kenyans from the effects of Covid. This is a call to all Kenyans to be on the lookout and to whistle blow corruption perpetrators so that graft lords are brought to book; The fight against Corruption is a collective responsibility and Kenyans should not wait until the effects are felt.