Details of sacked Health PS Josephine Mburu
Josephine Mburu, the principal secretary who was removed on Monday due to the most recent Kemsa scandal, is presumably new to controversy.
Being fired as the first state appointment in President William Ruto’s administration may have surprised the PS, who has only been in office for five months.
A day after pledging to crack down on alleged corruption at the agency to repair the government’s reputation with foreign funders, Ruto sacked her along with other employees.
“I am doing something about it. You will see results. I want to give you my commitment, I will clean up Kemsa, whatever it takes, whatever it costs,” he said during an interview on Sunday.
Following the Sh7 billion Covid-19 pandemic scam, Mburu is now the focus of an investigation into the Sh3.7 billion mosquito net sale at the agency.
So, who is Mburu?
Mburu was chosen by the President to fill the position out of hundreds of applicants after the Public Service Board’s interviews last November.
Before being appointed, the 56-year-old had worked in the Ministry of Health for 34 years, rising through the ranks to become a lecturer at the publicly owned Kenya Medical Training College.
She has a doctorate in public health from Jomo Kenyatta University and a master’s degree in public health with a focus in epidemiology and a minor in health services management from Kenyatta University College.
Between April and August 2021, she served in various roles including acting chief medical laboratory technologist, head of the microbiology unit, head of the national tuberculosis reference laboratory, and acting head of national public health.
She began working at the Gatundu and Kiambu hospitals’ microbiology sections between 1988 and 1994, according to a sneak peek at her curriculum vitae.
Mburu assured MPs during her parliamentary confirmation that she has never been fired or removed from her position or mentioned in any investigative findings throughout her employment.
“The nominee explained that her training and experience in the health sector since 1988 will enable her to identify the challenges and gaps in the health system to enable her to find solutions to the gaps,” a report from the departmental committee on health reads.