ODM STATEMENT ON CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AT KEMSA
In the past few days, there have been serious allegations levelled against the procurement and handling of Covid-19 protective gear by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA). Suffice it to say that all Kenyans of goodwill have found these allegations disturbing and thoroughly demoralising, at a time when we are losing more lives to the virus.
We have restrained from responding to these allegations because of our desire to comment from an informed position.
We gather that the DCI has been called into KEMSA to investigate these matters. We however wonder how this can be so, before a credible audit by the Auditor General is carried out to ascertain the veracity of these claims. Precedent has been set before, where the media goes on a sensationalist extravaganza, with half baked information obtained from shadowy sources, ending up creating more problems than solutions.
It is important to note that as far as the prices of PPEs go, conventional wisdom must hold that such prices were lower before Covid-19 ravaged the whole world, and any procurement happening in the current has to come with higher values. Higher prices alone cannot therefore be a basis for doubting the probity of those who undertake these tasks.
It is disheartening to hear no less a senior government official than the Deputy President go public with the juvenile and improper statement that “at least now nobody will blame me for stealing Covid-19 funds”. This statements suggests that it is ok for the funds to be stolen if he is not to blame, or even more unsettling, it expresses the jealousy of being left out of the gravy train. We have pointed out before that the DP’s recalcitrance and lack of political emotional intelligence are a hindrance to the smooth running of government. At a time when he should help the President crack the whip on corruption cartels within government, he holds campaigns at his residence while cheering wrong doing within government, in the mistaken belief that any perceived failures by H.E. the President will raise his (DP’s) dwindling profile. We must ask the DP to either rise to the occasion and play the role of DP, or ship out and let the President work in peace.
We will keep raising any concerns we have with government operations, specifically Covid-19 related issues, through the proper channels, without unnecessary drama and hubris. We continue to fulfill our mandate as espoused in the ODM Manifesto, while remaining cognisant of our role as a unifying agent in Kenyan politics. We will therefore not join the condemnation bandwagon, but will keep probing and defending the right of Kenyans to get government services efficiently and at the right process. For that reason, we ask that media houses and other news agencies exercise responsibility in their coverage, because sensational and baseless reports may compromise international support for our Covid-19 war, endangering ordinary Kenyans and not just the leaders. Any information of wrongdoing must be passed to the rightful agencies for clear action.
I thank you.
Hon. Edwin Sifuna