Members of the Public Investments Committee (PIC) members were taken aback by details of a company that won a Ksh1.3 billion tender from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).
Shop N Buy was barely a month old when it was awarded a tended last year. “The company was registered one month before COVID-19,” James Chelule, director, told the committee yesterday.
The committee is investigating alleged corruption in the procurement of emergency Covid-19 medical supplies, in which the government lost billions of shillings.
The committee heard that Shop N Buy secured the big-money tender in only 24 hours. “We didn’t get any pre-qualification letters from KEMSA. My clients Bennet Ventures, Trade shop and Edumatt directed me to KEMSA where I received the green light to transact the business,” Chelule said.
The Ksh1.3 billion tender was for the supply 100,000 Personal Protection Equipment kits, and 100,000 KN95 masks.
Chelule disputed claims that he was an opportunistic Johnny-come-lately who was out to make a quick buck. “Before the month of March, I had transacted around Ksh50 million (worth of business) and my company was doing medical supply even before COVID-19,” he said.
Shop N Buy has been trading in medical equipment, farm machinery and household equipment.