Irungu Nyakera, the newly appointed chairperson of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board, has vowed to clean the mess at the scandal-ridden agency as he assumes office.
Speaking on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, Nyakera exuded confidence in his new role, saying he is up to the challenging task ahead of him.
At the same time, Nyakera, who previously served as Principal Secretary in the State Department of Transport, thanked President William Ruto for believing in him to deliver KEMSA from its current mess.
"Today I wake up to a new role as the Chairperson of Kenya Medical Supplies Authority. The agency has been riddled with graft for the last few years and I thank His Excellency the President @WilliamsRuto for believing in me to deliver KEMSA from the mess," Nyakera said in a tweet.
"We will clean the mess, that I can assure Kenyans. It certainly won’t be easy, so help me God," he added.
Today I wake up to a new role as the Chairperson of Kenya Medical Supplies Authority. The agency has been riddled with graft for the last few years and I thank His Excellency the President @WilliamsRuto for believing in me to deliver KEMSA from the mess. We will clean the mess,… pic.twitter.com/pFxSA3Gkov— Irungu Nyakera, CBS (@wnyakera) May 16, 2023
President Ruto picked Nyakera to head the KEMSA board after firing the entire board led by Daniel Rono, a former Member of Parliament for Keiyo South.
The Head of State also cracked the whip on Principal Secretary at the State Department of Public Health Dr Josephine Mburu by terminating her appointment.
In a statement on Monday, May 15, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei said President Ruto had relieved Mburu of her duties following complaints of alleged impropriety within KEMSA regarding a flawed procurement process that left the country on the verge of losing a Ksh3.7 billion worth of anti-Malaria nets from the Global Fund.
Global Fund, a Switzerland-based organization that funds governments to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, is said to have cancelled Kemsa’s procurement process which seemed flawed in favour of a bidder who did not meet mandatory requirements, at the expense of an actual mosquito nets manufacturer.
"The alleged maladministration on the part of KEMSA is with regard to the procurement of treated mosquito nets for those vulnerable households, which could have led to significant exposure to the disease and increase in its severity in the endemic regions," Koskei said.
During the purge, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha appointed Dr Andrew Mutava Mulwa as the new KEMSA CEO, replacing embattled Terry Ramadhani who was suspended.
The CS also reconstituted the board, unveiling a list of new members.
The new members are Hezbon Oyieko Omollo, Bernard Kipkirui Bett, Dr Jane Masiga and Jane Nyagaturi Mbatia.
In 2020, KEMSA was also on the spot over irregular procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to a loss of billions of taxpayers' money.