- Embakasi East MP Babu Owino o Monday wrote a letter to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe seeking answers to the reports among them, the intention of sacking all KEMSA staff, “80% of which are my constituents.”
Reports are rife that massive job lay-offs are in the offing at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
Sources say that plans are underway to sack over 800 employees at the scandal-ridden agency.
As Standard reports, the plan is to have them replaced by personnel from the National Youth Service (NYS) and the military for two months before employing new staff.
Current employees, according to a source who requested anonymity, have been asked to re-apply for their jobs.
MP Babu Owino’s concerns
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino on Monday wrote a letter to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe seeking answers to the reports among them, the intention of sacking all KEMSA staff, “80% of which are my constituents.”
The lawmaker does not see any possible rationale for sacking the entire workforce, including a cleaner who was never involved in the multi-billion KEMSA scandal.
MP Babu, in his letter, also sought to know the steps the Ministry is taking to ensure that those who will be affected by the massive lay-offs are fully compensated, and allowed to continue with their normal lives.
“What procedure is the Ministry going to use to lay-off workers and what happens to those that have loans with financial institutions and were sure that their jobs are secure,” reads the MP’s letter in part.
Further, the ODM lawmaker wants CS Kagwe to shelve what he says is a draconian and irrational plan, and make sure that only those involved in theft of public money in the agency are sent home.
According to the KEMSA Act, however, neither the Ministry nor the CS has the mandate of sacking employees.
Entire KEMSA board sent packing
In a Gazette Notice No. 4011, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe sent packing KEMSA board members Timothy Mwololo Waema, Bibiana K. Njue, Joel Onsare Gesuka and Dorothy Atieno Aywak.
In their place, CS Kagwe appointed Capt (Rtd) Lawrence Wahome, Robert Nyarango, Terry Kiunge Ramadhani and Linton Nyaga Kinyua as the new KEMSA board members.
Their three-year appointments started on Friday, April 30, 2021.
A report by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in 2020 touching on the procurement scandal at KEMSA revealed that KSh2.3 billion was lost in procuring Covid-19 medical supplies.
The damning report revealed that billions of shillings were unaccounted for and that there was no budgetary approval by relevant authorities.