KEMSA CEO Jonah Manjari has been suspended in the midst of weeks of probes, interrogations by anti-corruption sleuths after revelations emerged that award of tenders in sourcing and supplying of key equipment consisting PPEs that are crucial in fighting Covid-19 pandemic was awarded improperly, due process flouted and procurement protocols not followed against the law.
The CEO was suspended together with two directors; Eliud Muriithi (Commercial) and Charles Juma (Procurement). The KEMSA board took the step to suspend 3 top officials to allow for investigations into claims of corruption and misappropriation of funds in Covid-19 procurement as per the statement released on Friday.
The board either appointed interim officials to take the reins in the crucial government agency elevating Operations Director Edward Njuguna to be Interim CEO, George Walukana the Acting Commercial director and Edward Buluma the Interim Procurement Director.
The board expressed firm resolve to cooperate with agencies investigating the corruption pledging full cooperation throughout the probe. “We are not going to protect anyone found culpable and any such person shall face the consequence” said Kembi Gitura, the board chair adding that they will not stand by any acts of victimization but would let wheel of justice to takes its full course.
KEMSA became target of probe as it emerged that they purchased grossly inflated Covid-19 supplies handing billions to profiteers’ businessmen. The N95(1860) masks for instance was purchased with sh. 1300 against the market price of sh. 700 per piece while for KN95 masks that’ goes for sh.400 in the market, they purchased with sh.700. the bulk buying should have even made the supplies cheaper but instead almost doubled.
In the August 3rd report by the Nation, which exposed how the millions spent and supplies involved, KEMSA procurement mishaps or the official’s conspiracy to fleece the taxpayers was subject to intense public scrutiny as firms and individuals were awarded improperly billion-dollar tenders despite glaring procurement flags that could have denied them.
Kilig limited for example was one such company created by Ivy Onyango on Jan 2nd 2020, handpicked and handed sh.4Billion tender to supply thousands of PPEs with apiece costing sh.9000 while the market then was sh.4500 as per parliamentary papers.
The Kits consist of N95 Mask, Body suit, goggles, water-proof shoes and gloves and as per the tender the Kilig company was to supply 450,000 pieces of each of the items. However, the company just founded barely 6-months ago had no capacity to deliver on such a humongous tender while the inability of the KEMSA executives to seek proof or record of ability put the executives on the spot and effectively on the EACC radar.
The KEMSA boss hasty move to cancel the deal when the obvious had become inevitable did little to calm the storm as the detectives had already gotten a wind and were on his trails.
Ziwala Limited, which is owned by Ms Samantha Ngina Muthama and June Nduta Kinyua, equally received a piece of the Covid-19 billions.
It got a Sh. 84 million contract to supply 120,000 pieces of KN95 face masks, also at the inflated price of Sh.700 a piece.
Samantha Ngina Muthama who is mentioned herein is a daughter to Nyokabi Muthama who was mentioned repeatedly in the sh5 billion Afya House scandal in 2016. Did they say like mother like daughter?
In 2016, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had told Kenyans that the sh5 billion Afya house scandal is President Kenyatta’s scandal. And that he must deal with it as such. He must tell the country what he knows, when he knew it and what he did when he knew it.
The fearless Odinga boldly started in broad day light that “The Afya house scam is a continuation of what started with the NYS scandal where, again, family members and close confidantes of the President were implicated as direct beneficiaries in the theft from the youth of Kenya. Kenyans will recall that the president came out strongly to defend the Ministry of Devolution and the NYS deals long before they were investigated and proved to be scandals that they now officially are.” He said.
The President Kenyatta’s silence now is similar to his silence then and Mr Odinga did not hesitate to question it,
“Is the President silent on this and the many other thefts in the country because of this conflicted position? Is he giving up on the war of corruption because it has now entered his own inner sanctum? We have reasons to believe so.”
Seems Samantha Ngina Muthama and June Nduta Kinyua who are cousins as their mothers are that is Nyokabi Muthama and Kathleen Kihanya respectively, have been cultured into this new normal in the larger Kenyatta’s. and her cousin Nyokabi Muthama are also closely linked to the Kenyatta Trust. At the organisation, Nyokabi is a director while Kathleen is a mentor with President Uhuru as a Patron.
At the time Ziwala limited was registered, June Kinyua and Njau Muriuki were listed as directors. The two directors are niece and nephew to President Uhuru Kenyatta since their mothers Mumbi (Muriuki’s mother) and Kathleen (June Kinyua’s mother) are siblings.
The latest search of Ziwala limited Company details at the Registry that is dated 16th July 2020 shows the current directors and shareholders of Ziwala Limited as Samantha Ngina Muthama with 400 Shares and June Nduta Kinyua with 600 Shares. The two are using a common address: P.O. Box 19495 GPO Nairobi.
What surprises Kenyans is how June Nduta Kinyua (Kathleen’s daughter) and Samantha Ngina Muthama (Nyokabi’s Daughter) bagged such a lucrative deal in a state agency. Is Afya house the first family’s preferred cash cow?
It’s reported that this fresh scandal involving Uhuru’s close family members comes barely a month after another family member Peter Kihanya suddenly increased his shareholding in betting firm SportPesa just days after the gambling industry giant regained its license and sports betting taxes were waived by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukuru Yattani.
Peter Kihanya is an uncle to both June Nduta Kinyua and Njau Muriuki being the elder brother to their mothers Kathleen and Mumbi Kihanya.
June is named after their late grandmother Grace Nduta, mother to Josphat Muiruri Kihanya, their patriarch, who passed on in 2016.
On the father’s side, June Kinyua is the daughter of Ernest Kinyua Kamau (Director of Tea Holdings Ltd based in Limuru) whose father is former nominated MP Jackson Kamau Chege as per court documents filed in 2007.
June Kinyua, a University of Buckingham graduate, appears to be the eldest of the three cousins who are linked to Ziwala Limited.
Shop N Buy Limited is another benefactor in the now infamous and flawed procurement system in KEMSA as it landed to Sh.970Million despite being just 4 months old.
The KEMSA top directors suspension thus sheds how the public procurement can be manipulated and become a conduit to massive fleecing of state coffers in blatant disregard to the laid down guidelines and laws.