Human rights groups spark protests in Mombasa over COVID-19 corruption

covid thieves

This morning, six people were arrested in the Mombasa CBD, while demonstrating over the alleged theft of COVID-19 funds – By Gerald Gekara.

This marks the second day of protests against the Ministry of Health and other converned agencies, with Nakuru and Kisumu based activists taking to the streets on Monday to air their grievancies.

Police officers lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the groups, while others were put under arrest by Police officers.

The groups have agitated for the prosecution of individuals behind the misappropriation, and for the government to make known, several procurement documents that account for the COVID-19 expenditure at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

Kemsa, is mandated to procure drugs for all public health facilities in the country,

The institution finds itself in graft books after a damning report that showed massive inflations of Covid 19 related equipment’s

The report shows that KEMSA has been overcharging counties by up to 77 per cent for some essential drugs as it overrides on the monopoly of selling to all public health facilities.

Sources indicate that the institution procured N95 (1860) masks at an inflated price of Sh1,300 per piece while the was Sh700 market price, and ordered 5,000 pieces. They also bought KN95 masks at Sh700 per piece in disregard of the market price of Sh450, they ordered 1,836,400 masks.

Disposable surgical masks were procured at Sh90 per piece against the market price of Sh50.

Personal protective equipment was brought in at Sh9,000, double the market price of Sh4,500.

While appearing before senate health committee the On Tuesday at the start of investigations, the Kemsa boss, failed to provide documents sought by the panel prompting adjournment of the the inquiry.

Earlier the committee had written to the CEO demanding tender documents for procurement done between financial years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

 The documents sort was submitted bids, tender opening minutes, tender evaluation minutes, due diligence reports, payment vouchers, contract agreements and inspection acceptable certificates.