Ruto fires Public Health PS, suspends Kemsa boss and sends entire board home
In response to a Sh4 billion mosquito net supply scandal, President William Ruto dismissed Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) CEO Terry Ramadhani, suspended Public Health PS Dr. Josephine Mburu, and dismissed the whole board of the organization.
According to a Monday evening dispatch from State House, he has also selected Irungu Nyakera, a former Farmers Party leader and principal secretary for housing, to serve as chair of the Kemsa board.
The action was taken in response to an exposé by Nation.Africa that showed how Kemsa blew a Sh3.7 billion tender for the delivery of treated mosquito nets.
Additionally, it exposed the potential misappropriation of at least $1.353 million (Sh185 million) from a donor-funded campaign by dishonest Ministry representatives. As a result, the government is now facing refunds and likely sanctions from the Geneva-based Global Fund.
“The alleged maladministration on the part of Kemsa is with regard to procurement of treated mosquito nets for those vulnerable households, which could have led to significant exposure to the disease and increase its severity in the endemic regions,” the dispatch signed by President Ruto’s Chief of staff Felix Koskei said.
Susan Nakhumicha, the health cabinet secretary, has reformed the board of the medical agency and nominated Dr. Andrew Mutava Mulwa as acting CEO of Kemsa.
Her selections for the Kemsa board are Hezbon Omollo, Jane Nyagaturi Mbatia, Dr. Jane Masiga, and Bernard Kipkirui Bett.
Following revelations that Kemsa botched the billion-shilling tender for the supply of treated nets meant to help millions of low-income households prevent malaria, the State corporation lost at least Sh370 million in revenue.
This prompted an investigation into Kemsa and the Ministry of Health.
The successful bidder in the Global Fund-funded contest was supposed to provide 10.2 million treated mosquito nets, but due to errors by Kemsa, the Geneva-based organization is now demanding action against the authorities who botched the execution.