Governors Want Powers To Procure Drugs, away from KEMSA

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By EDDY NYADWA NAIROBI. Governors have renewed calls to have counties allowed to procure drugs and other medical equipment directly after increased corruption claims at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, KEMSA.

Speaking at his home in Karen on Sunday, Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said counties have the capacity to procure directly, instead of going through scandal rocked KEMSA which has a Monopoly.

“Our position is that we should be allowed to buy from wherever so long as the process is competitive. We have agencies like the Kenya Bureau of Standards, which should ensure everything counties buy is of good quality and meets required standards” Oparanya said.

The Kakamega Governor adds that allowing counties to procure medical supplies from other sources will improve their (counties) capacity to adequately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and improve health care service provision.

KEMSA’s Board on Friday suspended the Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari alongside  directors Eliud Muriithi (Commercial) and Charles Jume (Procurement) over corruption claims involving donor funds running into billions, and fraud in tender awards.

CoG had moved to the High Court to oppose the amendment to the KEMSA Act sections which compels counties to procure both pharmaceutical and non- pharmaceutical supplies from the Authority.

Governors have termed the monopoly the agency enjoys unfair and one aimed at micromanaging the devolved units, contrary to the spirit of devolution.