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President Ruto vows to clean up Kemsa after Sh3.7 billion tender scandal

President William Ruto has pledged to take decisive action to clean up the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) following revelations of a botched Sh3.7 billion tender for the supply of treated bed nets to help millions of low-income households prevent malaria.

The scandal has cost the state-owned company at least Sh370 million in lost revenue.

Internal documents obtained by the Nation revealed that the Global Fund cancelled Kemsa’s flawed procurement process, which favoured a bidder that did not meet the mandatory requirements at the expense of a legitimate mosquito net manufacturer.

China’s Tianjin Yorkool, the only company meeting all the necessary criteria under Kenyan and Global Fund procurement laws and guidelines, was unfairly excluded from the bidding process.

These latest revelations have sparked controversy and renewed scrutiny of the state agency, which is still recovering from the fallout of the Covid-19 procurement scandal.

In that episode, politically connected individuals secured lucrative contracts worth billions of shillings, the value for money of which has yet to be established.

Also read: Help us to redeem Kemsa’s tainted name, CEO Ramadhani asks Kenyans

The Global Fund-funded tender was for 10.2 million treated bed nets, but Kemsa’s mistakes have now exposed millions of households across the country to malaria.

The tender was to supply both polyethylene and polyester nets treated with chemicals to ensure effective mosquito repellency over a long period of time.

The Geneva-based Global Fund has expressed concern about the situation and called for action against the officials responsible for the mishandling of the tender.

As a result of the series of errors and selective application of tendering rules during the evaluation process, the Global Fund has moved the procurement to its online portal,, in an effort to speed up the delivery of treated nets.

However, the Global Fund’s evaluation report warns that it may prove difficult to procure and distribute the nets on time.

Determined to address the situation, President Ruto said, “I want to give you my commitment, I will clean Kemsa, whatever it takes, whatever it costs, I will clean it.”

The President’s promise reflects his determination to hold those responsible to account and restore confidence in the authority.

Also read: Shock over Kemsa ‘surprise’ tender