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Ruto sacks Health PS Josephine Mburu in the wake of KEMSA mosquito net scandal

President William Ruto on May 15, 2023, fired the Principal Secretary, State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards, Ms Josephine Mburu, and revoked the appointments of the Chairperson and Members of the Board of Directors of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

He also  suspended the KEMSA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Terry Ramadhani, following a tendering scandal for mosquito nets.

In a statement from his office, it was announced that President Ruto appointed Mr Irungu Nyakera as the new Chairperson of the KEMSA board, reconstituted the board by appointing Mr Hezbon Oyieko Omollo, Mr Bernard Kipkirui Bett, Dr Jane Masiga and Ms Jane Mbatia as members. Dr Andrew Mutava Mulwa was appointed the Acting CEO of KEMSA.

President Ruto directed the new appointees to assure propriety of procurement processes within the Authority.

The shake up at KEMSA comes after a tendering scandal was exposed last week. The news was broken by Nation. Africa. In its report, it was found that KEMSA had bungled a Sh 3.7 billion mosquito nets deal after the Global Fund cancelled KEMSA’s procurement process which was flawed and awarded in favor of a bidder who did not meet the mandatory requirements.

Nation. Africa reported that the tendering documents he documents at KEMSA revealed that the only firm that met all requirements under both Kenyan and Global Fund procurement laws and guidelines, China’s Tianjin Yorkool, was unfairly knocked out of the tender evaluation.This was discovered after the Golbal Fund conducted an audit of the tendering process.

The Fund intended to provide treated mosquito nets to the following  Kenyan counties: Baringo, Kirinyaga, Marsabit, Turkana, Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, Tana River, Siaya, Kisumu, Migori, Busia, Nyamira, Kisii, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Narok, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Taita Taveta, Elgeyo Marakwet and Homa Bay in November 2023. This deadline will not be met and the Global Fund moved its procurement to its online portal in order to do damage control.

Nation.Africa further reported that the deal would have seen KEMSA earn Sh 370 million in revenue; and that the tender evaluation committee constituted by Ms Ramadhani consisting of Martin Wamwea, Cosmas Rotich, Anthony Chege and Lenson Kariuku favored a particular bidder despite not meeting the requirements. The state also lost out on Sh 74 million in procurement fees and Sh 185 million to distribute the mosquito nets to the aforementioned counties.

Also read: Ruto sacks Health PS Josephine Mburu in the wake of KEMSA mosquito net scandal