Senators have termed the looming decision by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) to sack 900 employees as a cover up to protect high ranking government officials facing graft allegations at the State firm.
According to the senators, it is unfortunate and concerning that such a decision could be made hastily despite none of the staff members having been implicated in the Ksh.7.8 billion Covid-19 procurement graft scandal currently facing KEMSA bosses.
“The 900 officers at KEMSA did not procure the PPEs, they did not cause the scandal we are aware of. This is a coverup of very powerful individuals and their families from being investigated for the fraud in KEMSA. It is a cover up and we must call it what it is,” Senator Mutula Kilonzo jr. said
“Ordinary Kenyans are being jailed left, right and center for stealing but when it comes to powerful people you send them packing and send in KDF and NYS. It is unfortunate that the NYS are moving to now procuring drugs. This will affect our counties since KEMSA is a monopoly.”
Mutula’s sentiments were shared by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei who insisted that KEMSA had opted to sacrifice the small fish to protect the big fish.
“As we talk as a country because of reactionary measures they are putting in place to protect powerful individuals within the Ministry of Health and Procurement of drugs. They have decided to go for the small fish. At the start of the year the EACC, DPP, DCI said they want to fry the big fish but this instant it is very unfortunate,” Kiprotich said.
Senator Cherargei similarly argued that no action has been taken against members of KEMSA’s board of directors who were implicated in the graft case.
“The former chair who is Senator Kembi Gitura and the board were implicated on corruption allegations but the government decided to transfer him to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK). How do you transfer corruption from KEMSA to CAK. CAK will also face corruption issues because we are not ready to fire the board that was implicated you are transferring the chair and it looks like corruption is now rewarding in this nation,” he added.
The Senators consequently called on the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare to explain the legal basis of the impending mass sacking at the troubled organization and why they want to sack 900 employees in the name of restructuring.
“The committee should appraise the senate of the compensation to be awarded to the staff for termination of their employment listing the compensation package per cadre of employees,” Kilonzo said.
“They should also explain whether the state corporation advisory committee made any recommendations to the president in regards to the reorganization removal or transfer of offices of staff at KEMSA acted on its advice.”
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