Uhuru weighs in on KEMSA scandal as COVID-19 cases rise to 33,016


Uhuru weighs in on KEMSA scandal as COVID-19 cases rise to 33,016
President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers the 11th Presidential address on the #Covid_19 pandemic, Wednesday 26th August 2020 at State House, Nairobi. PHOTO| PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered for speedy investigations into allegations of theft of COVID-19 funds at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

Addressing the Nation on Wednesday, President Kenyatta assured the country that investigative agencies are probing the matter, further directing that the investigations be completed within the next 21 days.

“Following the allegations of impropriety at KEMSA, the relevant investigative agencies of our country are currently fully seized with the matter. However, given the compelling public interest in the matter the relevant agencies should expedite their ongoing investigations and conclude the same within 21 days from the date hereof,” he said.

The Head of State added that anyone found culpable in the KEMSA funds scandal will face the law regardless of their social status.

KEMSA officials have been on the spot after it emerged that billions of shillings meant for combating the COVID-19 pandemic may have been siphoned at the authority through fraudulent procurement schemes.

The allegations have sparked a nationwide uproar, forming fodder for politicians across the political divide to trade barbs.

KEMSA CEO Jonah Mwangi Manjari together with two other officials; Charles Juma (Head of Procurement) and Eliud Mureithi (Commercial Director) were suspended two weeks ago to allow EACC complete investigations into the matter.

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, the country recorded 213 new COVID-19 cases pushing the country’s caseload to 33,016.

Five more patients also succumbed to the virus, bringing the number of fatalities to 564.

At the same time, the number of recoveries rose to 19,296 after 241 more people recovered from the coronavirus disease.

President Kenyatta noted that the declining trend in the country’s COVID-19 positivity rate signals hope in the war against the pandemic.

“Our positivity rate countrywide has fallen from a high of 13% in June to 8% in August. This means we have a chance of reaching a 5% positivity rate for a total reopening of our economy,” said Kenyatta.

 

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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