Fresh Storm At KEMSA As Drugs Vanish From “Secure Warehouse”

KEMSA Warehouse

  • The scandal-ridden agency has come under fire from multi-lateral lenders who are raising the red flag demanding action against corrupt elements within the agency who are denying poor Kenyans life-sustaining drugs
  • According to the Global Fund, a Swiss-based organization that funds governments to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, the drugs were stolen and resold to private chemists
By The Weekly Vision Online

Corruption in Kenya simply never seems to go away does it? The Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) has turned out to be one of Kenya’s most lucrative cash cows, and with past multi-billion shilling scandals, still unresolved one would have expected the current managers at the agency to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta to retire in peace by August 2022, before resuming their thieving ways.

Instead, top KEMSA managers are under a fresh spotlight for diverting critical drugs meant for distribution public hospitals to private chemists, making a whooping windfall by pocketing billions of shillings for their trouble. This can only complicate Kenyatta’s retirement plans.

The scandal-ridden agency has come under fire from multi-lateral lenders who are raising the red flag demanding action against corrupt elements within the agency who are denying poor Kenyans life-sustaining drugs. In the latest scandal, 1.1 million condoms, 908,000 mosquito nets, and tuberculosis drugs worth Ksh.10 million have gone missing!

At the same time, Global Fund has established that some of the drugs it bought had expired in KEMSA’s warehouses even as public hospitals across the counties lament shortages. Global Fund, whose main donors are the US, France, Germany and Japan, has granted Kenya over $1.4 (Ksh.159.6) billion since 2003

According to the Global Fund, a Swiss-based organization that funds governments to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, the drugs were stolen and resold to private chemists. KEMSA also overstated the value of medicines by Ksh.640 million, according to the organization’s audit. “Kemsa has poor internal controls on warehousing and inventory management, resulting in 16 per cent differences in batch numbers verified, and discrepancies of 908,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) between actual and expected stock balances,” the Global Fund’s report has revealed.

Some suspected fake suppliers are also purportedly demanding Ksh1.66 billion from the agency. “We identified 165 long outstanding/undelivered local purchase orders (LPOs) valued at $14.5 million (Sh1.66 billion). The high number of LPOs without attached delivery notes poses the risk of fake suppliers or diverted procurements,” added the report.

At the same time, Global Fund has established that some of the drugs it bought had expired in KEMSA’s warehouses even as public hospitals across the counties lament shortages. Global Fund, whose main donors are the US, France, Germany and Japan, has granted Kenya over $1.4 (Ksh.159.6) billion since 2003. The organization now wants a fresh investigation launched into the case.

In 2020, KEMSA was caught in another corruption scandal, with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) reporting “criminal” behaviour in the purchase of Covid-19 kits. The anti-graft agency further noted an “irregular expenditure” of Ksh.7.8 billion.

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