Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has distanced himself from any alleged scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) after suspended CEO Jonah Manjari said he had received instructions from him on how to procure COVID-19 kits.
Kagwe admits he applied pressure to Manjari because of the emergency of managing COVID-19 pandemic and he had no apologies to make.
Speaking while appearing before the National Assembly Health Committee, Kagwe said he has interest in any company that is currently supplying KEMSA.
“It’s my job to put people under pressure so that they can produce the results we are looking for, its however not my job to tell anybody to commit a crime… it’s not my job to advise anybody against anything they are not supposed to do, and in the event that I told a CEO to do something that is against the law or something they are not comfortable with, he should have said give me that in writing,” Kagwe retorted.
“When you go wrong you don’t go wrong because the CS told you to go wrong, you go wrong because you are a poor manager and you don’t know how to manage and use the laws on procurement.”
It had been claimed that Kagwe and his PS Susan Mochache had written to Manjari, and even sent SMSs to put him under pressure to give tenders to particular companies, a claim Kagwe flatly denied.
He says the letters on qualified suppliers originated from KEMSA as is the norm and the Ministry, through PS Mochache, was only replying with the attached list that had originated from KEMSA.
CS Kagwe wants the medical authority to bite the bullet and sell the COVID-19 commodities bought at a higher price saying the current price will amount to a lesser loss.
He says Kenyans require to use the Personal Protective Equipment and KEMSA shouldn’t be concerned by the loss they will make.
Mochache was also quick to distance herself from claims of meddling in tender issuance at KEMSA and says the letter claiming she instructed medical authority originated from KEMSA.