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KEMSA officials under investigation over Ksh 7.7billion tender for COVID-19 PPE’s

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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is investigating top officials at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) in relation to a controversial Ksh.7.7 billion tender for the emergency procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) that was to be delivered by July 22, 2020.

EACC is concerned that the tender was hurriedly awarded to a company known as KILIG limited using direct procurement under the cover of emergency needs, despite the fact that they were given three months to supply as opposed to one month.

KEMSA Board Chairman, ex-Senator Kembi Gitura, says even though the investigations are yet to be concluded, any of the top officials charged will have to step aside if it gets to that point.

When the coronavirus pandemic reached the country on March 13 this year, many agencies and Kenyans went into overdrive to achieve preparedness to handle the outbreak.

KEMSA being the sole agency mandated to procure essential medical commodities for government facilities hurriedly sought to procure what they termed health products and technologies, whose details are complete PPE kits comprising overall, goggles, masks, boots and gloves.

While this was a noble initiative, it is the details that are alarming; As per KEMSA’s approved budget, only Ksh.4.7 billion should have gone into the procurement. Meaning the commitment letters issued by KEMSA exceeded budget by Ksh.3 billion.

The tender was for procurement of 450,000 kits, each valued at Ksh.9,000. KILIG Limited was identified through direct procurement, with questions now being raised over this mode was chosen for such an expensive tender.

In a letter signed by KEMSA CEO Dr. Jonah Manjari Mwangi, KILIG was granted three months to deliver the supplies.

KEMSA Procurement Director Charles Juma wrote to his CEO in April and June raising questions over why KILIG was chosen in direct procurement for a tender that should essentially be open to competition given its size.

Juma stated that at the time of procurement, the authority already had stocks of upto 160,000 kits, while more than 200,000 more were expected to be delivered.

He raised questions why there was an urgency to procure 450,000 more with an excuse of emergency, yet three months were allowed for delivery.

Juma observed that direct procurement was unnecessary and that the tender to KILIG should have been revoked.

His letter pointed to a reality that commitment letters were being issued by KEMSA to prospective suppliers against recommended procurement procedure.

The Procurement Director advised the CEO to stop further evaluation of any samples presented by prospective suppliers, as doing so was giving the false impression that KEMSA was still involved in emergency procurement of COVID-19 response equipment.

EACC has now asked for documentary evidence around the award of the tender to KILIG Limited including tender advertisement notices, bids submitted by bidders, tender opening minutes and list of all bidders.

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He is a very dangerous man! Sonko’s daughter accuses senator of attempting to kill her

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Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip and Saumu Mbuvi, daughter of former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, have announced their separation following wrangles and disagreement.

The reports were fuelled by photos and videos of Senator Loitiptip hanging out with a female friend.

Saumu, on Instagram, announced that the two have separated, claiming that she has undergone domestic violence under Loitiptip.

“These are the things he did to me,” wrote Saumu, in one of her photos showing a swollen face and bruised lips.

“He almost killed me. I will forever fight for women to stand for their rights. Never allow a man to be violent to you.”

She also claimed that the senator had neglected their child, leaving Saumu as the primary caregiver.

Loitiptip told Kenyans.co.ke that Saumu shared her father’s traits and was suffering from bipolar disorder, threatening to expose her past to prove his claim.

The two have been dating for months and at one point planned to get married. However, Sonko’s daughter clarified that the two had split before officiating their union.

“Wedding date confirmed,” she captioned a picture of herself and the senator in June 2020.

Her previous relationship with businessman cum politician Ben Gatu also ended after she accused him of being violent.

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US raises alarm over Covid-19 cases surge in Tanzania

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The US government has revealed that there are significant cases of Covid-19 in Tanzania.

This is just a week after it advised its citizens against travelling to the East African country.

“The US Embassy is aware of a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases since January 2021,” the Embassy said.

In a Health alert, the US said the practice of Covid-19 mitigation and prevention measures remains limited.

The Tanzanian government has not released aggregate numbers on Covid-19 cases or deaths since April 2020.

“Healthcare facilities in Tanzania can become quickly overwhelmed in a healthcare crisis. Limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for emergency medical care,” US said.

The Department of State’s travel advisory level for Tanzania is Level 3.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that travellers should avoid all travel to Tanzania.

The Embassy continues to recommend that all individuals take caution in day-to-day activities.

President John Magufuli assured the 58 million inhabitants that they need not worry about observing Covid-19 preventative measures.

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Siwachii wezi! Uhuru vows not to leave the country to thieves in 2022

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday made a surprising stop to lecture Nairobi residents after finishing his engagement at the National Cargo Deconsolidation Centre (NCDC-Nairobi).

The Head of State said he was angry at Nairobians for being against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill stating that the report has given Nairobi more constituencies.

“If we have a BBI that says the people of Nairobi will have more constituencies and if it’s bursaries a child in Mathare who today receives Ksh500, how will that child study up to university level,” President Kenyatta said.

“But there is another child who gets Ksh100,000 in Busury per year is that right?… BBI is not for helping Raila or Uhuru it is for you,” he continued.

Uhuru went on to disclose that he has no plans to rule after his term is over and his interest is in finishing the job that Kenyans elected him to do.

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