PS health Ministry Susan Mochache


PS health Ministry Susan Mochache spill beans of how Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) bosses by-passed the Ministry of Health to procure goods worth Sh 4 billion within three weeks.

National Assembly Public Investments Committee (PIC) members were outraged to hear that KEMSA officials between April 1 and April 24, ordered for goods worth Sh4 billion, way above the World Bank-funded budget of Sh758 million.

In the succeeding two months, KEMSA procured more virus pandemic related goods worth another Sh3 billion totalling to Sh7 billion.

 PS Susan Mochache who was appearing before the committee told MPs that the KEMSA Board was not aware of the happenings, as it had not met and was only notified of the purchases later.

The Sh758 million she said was strictly for the purchase of 25,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, 10,000 N95 masks, 6,000 laboratory sample collection and transportation consumable kits and 6,000 laboratory test kits, laboratory supplies and reagents.

“These procurements indeed happened within a very short time, when we were all busy dealing with a pandemic and holding meetings and we expected that someone would follow the law when dealing with such matters,” she said.

 “I do not know what was behind this thinking of buying goods worth so much, " she added.

"We have indeed learnt so much after this incident, however, it is tragic that when we have an individual at the helm of an organisation who is supposed to follow the law and he decides to go the same law in such an imaginable way, I cannot be held responsible for that, " she distanced herself.

The damage happened in a very short time and I don’t know how it happened,” she added.

Reports tabled before the committee explained that although the ministry had indicated what it wanted to be procured, KEMSA went ahead to purchase items worth Sh2.1 billion, way above the Sh758 million budget.

Yet still, the only goods which were delivered amounted to Sh149 million.
Among the items that KEMSA procured outside the budget were 139 million face masks worth Sh48 million, 151.7 million PPEs worth Sh16.4Million, 58.7 million Gloves Surgical Sterile worth Sh58.7 million and 1.7 million laboratory items worth Sh9 million.

Others were 1.5 million surgical masks worth Sh28.4 million, 2 million surgical masks disposable three-ply worth Sh93.2 million, 100 N95 face masks worth Sh250,000, 9,900 n95 respirator masks worth Sh6.9 million, 25,000 theatre boots worth 37.5 Million among others.

 “The agency via email submitted the report to the Ministry of Health which indicated that the authority had entered into supplies commitments of items worth Sh2.1 billion, " reads the document.

"Out of these, goods worth Sh149,075,396 had been delivered leaving a balance of Sh2,035,923,666,” reads the report.

 “I am equally baffled on how this matter unfolded yet the law is clear you don’t spend what you don’t have, " she added.

The question is why did they disregard the Ministry of Health. If you look keenly, you can see how the management tried to look for money to justify this, we need to find out what was the motivation behind this,” she said.

 “My conscience is very clear, I made every effort to find out what was going on at KEMSA and some point, I even confronted the Chief Executive Officer over the theft claims but I was told there was nothing like that,” she added.

Mochache who distanced herself from the scandal, also revealed that the Ministry had prepared a Cabinet Memo, seeking permission for Kemsa to sell the current stock at the current market price which will lead to a loss of Sh2 billion.

PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir told Mochache that she could not delink herself from the issues happening at Kemsa as she is the accounting officer.

 “ We saw this monster grow into adulthood, we saw it eat our children as we watched, the ministry should have stopped this before it blew up into a full scandal,” said Mvita MP Abdulswamad.

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