Nairobi News

Must ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Kemsa scandal: Why Ruto sacked PS Josephine Mburu and not Peter Tum

Dr Josephine Mburu, 56, has worked in the Ministry of Health for almost three decades.

She rose through the ranks in that while until her appointment as Principal Secretary (PS) for Public Health and Professional Standards by President William Ruto.

But then she was shockingly sacked after five months.

In a presidential memo signed by his chief of staff Felix Koskei and made public on May 15, 2023, Dr Mburu was sacked in connection with a scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies (Kemsa) a move that has sparked speculation among Kenyans.

The Ministry of Health has two directorates.

These are the Directorate of Public Health and Public Health and Professional Standards and the Directorate of Medical Services, which is headed by PS Peter Tum.

A section of Kenyans took to social media to protest the sacking of Dr Mburu, while it is PS Tum who is apparently in charge of the country’s health institutions, including the Kemsa, which has been widely mentioned in the mosquito net scandal.

In his communication, the President also suspended Kemsa CEO Terry Ramadhani and the entire board over the Sh4 billion bed net scandal.

In a letter seen by Nairobi News dated February 21, 2023, Dr Mburu expressed her dissatisfaction with the Kemsa CEO over the lack of specifications compared to the original ones that had been communicated earlier.

“The purpose of this letter is to request Kemsa to rectify the error and fact-check the procurement process to ensure timely delivery and distribution of the LLIN (long-lasting insecticidal net) to protect the population at risk of malaria,” Dr Mburu’s letter reads.

Ms Ramadhani, responding to Dr Mburu’s letter, wrote to the Global Fund coordinator asking for some of the specifications to be included, a move that extended the tender deadline by another 14 days.

“We have extended the tender closure date by another 14 days to March 10 to allow room for clarifications and amendments to the tender,” she said.

The Global Fund had earlier requested that the revision of the delivery schedule 10,215,000 nets be completed latest January 20, and procurement be launched on January 31.

“The stipulated time periods for the different tender evaluation steps should be respected.”

Dr Mburu’s department is in charge of immunization policy and management; and Control and Protection HIV/Aids Management, putting her in charge of the progress that has brought her down.

Previously, Dr Mburu worked in an acting capacity as the head of national public health between April-August 2021.

Also read: Paula Kajala goes on an online tirade

Broke Jesus: Yesu wa Tongaren seeking financial help for his school-going children