Posted September 3, 2020 5:28 pm by

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 3 – Dr. Jonah Manjari who was suspended as Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) is an isolated man, with piling trouble and blame shifted on him for the COVID-19 procurement mess in the country.

Just a day after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Principal Secretary Susan Mochache denied his claims that they had instructed him to bend the procurement law, KEMSA board Chairman Kembi Gitura and the Procurement chief Charles Juma appeared to sink him even further.

The Board Chairperson Kembi Gitura told the National Assembly’s Health Committee that Manjari ignored the board’s advise on budgetary expenditure and went ahead to write directly to the National Treasury seeking additional funds.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) Board has exonerated itself from any wrongdoing in the graft surrounding COVID-19 supplies procurement and instead indicted the embattled suspended Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari of bypassing it’s input in the entire exercise.

“The board did not authorize the budget passing from Sh4.6 billion to Sh7.1 billion on our end that is clear,” Gitura told MPs.

Gitura was categorical that it is only Manjari who can give the much-needed answers in the probe that has shocked the nation, prompting President Uhuru Kenyatta to order the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to finalise its report in three weeks.

“The KEMSA board’s role is approval of annual budgets and procurement plans and review the status of utilization against the budget and procurement plan,” he said.

Appearing before the MPs committee, Manjari who had previously claimed that he was under pressure from CS Kagwe and Mochache to ensure the tenders were awarded to particular companies, cut an image of an isolated man abandoned by his team with the submissions of the Director of Procurement Charles Juma worsening his situation.

Juma revealed that he had on numerous occasions issued advisories to Manjari not to exceed the Sh4.6 billion budget that the agency was working with at the time.

He pointed out that despite his advisories, Manjari went on to sign commitment letters to various suppliers, illegally, without involving his input.

“My action in making the advisories was to inform the senior management of the risk of going above the budget and therefore breaking the law,” he submitted.

Juma revealed that a commitment letter issued to Kilig Limited awarding them a Sh4 billion tender was not sanctioned by his office, instead blaming Manjari whom he accused of by-passing him.

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