ODPP, EACC,...- ACT ON #KEMSACOVID19Millionaires Probe!
ODPP, EACC,...- ACT ON #KEMSACOVID19Millionaires Probe!
On 29th March 2021, Transparency International Kenya, Inuka Kenya Trust and The Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN) wrote to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to request for information on the progress of the Kenya Medical Supply Authority (KEMSA) COVID-19 procurement probe. No response has been given this far. The Constitution affirms the provisions of the Access to Information Act regarding provision and making data freely available for public interest. Having not heard from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, we:
DRAW the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions to the following: -
1. THAT, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has clearly laid down values and principles of good governance including integrity, transparency and accountability to the public which are the core of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity;
2. THAT, these principles equally extend to Public Finance Management as guided by public finance principles under Article 201 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010;
3. THAT the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability equally extend to procurement of public goods and services espoused under Article 227 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010;
4. THAT, continued misuse and mismanagement of COVID-19 resources continues to deprive Kenyans of the opportunity to enjoy their right to access health care. From the KEMSA scandal, resources and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) meant for health care workers were lost thus exposing health care workers to more risks of contracting COVID-19 and even risking their lives. This has continued to affect the morale and desire of the health care workers to support the efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, this has continued to affect the health care workers who end up being more exposed leading to high loss of lives from the Pandemic. Continued delay and lack of action on the KEMSA Scandal exacerbates impunity (breach of procurement laws, theft etc.) and is putting a lot of the procured Personal Protective Equipment ( PPEs) into risk of expiring and being obsolete thus leading to continued wastage of public resources at a time the country’s economy is performing poorly.
5. THAT, the continuous corruption cases in the health sector have led to the loss of money that is now affecting service delivery in the health sector putting the lives of thousands of citizens at risk.
6. THAT, in undertaking his mandate under Article 157 (6) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any alleged perpetrator (s) and shall while exercising these powers have regard to the public interest, the interests of the administration of justice and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.
7. THAT, according to the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Health report into the utilization of appropriated funds for the COVID-19 pandemic to the Ministry of Health with focus on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), KEMSA through its management flouted provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2015, leading to loss of public funds.
8. THAT, according to the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the utilization of COVID-19 funds by KEMSA, Kenya has lost more than Ksh. 2.3 Billion from the KEMSA scandal through flouting of procurement laws and regulations during the purchase of the PPEs. Additionally, some of these materials are still lying idle at the warehouse gathering dust despite the health workers continued call for more PPEs.
9. THAT, despite a directive by the President in August 2020 calling for expeditious investigation and probe into the KEMSA scandal, there has been little effort at ensuring that the KEMSA probe is finalized to avoid further loss and mismanagement of resources.
10.THAT, despite the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-Kenya program agreement, detailing terms and conditions among them a provision to have the government of Kenya publish an audit report on all COVID-19 expenditures by 31st May 2021, the government is yet to publish the audit report.
11.THAT, despite the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) recommending prosecution of officials of several of the firms that benefited from some of the illegal procurement contracts in November 2020, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is yet to act and arraign those implicated in court.
12. AND THAT, efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs) and citizens to request for information from the ODPP on the progress of the KEMSA scandal probe are yet to yield any results as we are yet to get feedback has been given. This is against the constitutional provisions and laws on access to information that provides for the need to make available information as this matter is of great public interest.
· THEREFORE, our call to action is that the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) immediately provide information/report on the outcome of and/or update on progress of the KEMSA COVID-19 procurement probe for the general public within 7 days.
· And consequently, we DEMAND that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) expedites the prosecution of the alleged perpetrators who flouted procurement laws and regulations at KEMSA during the procurement of COVID-19 equipment and items.
We further demand that EACC expedites investigations into other KEMSA and COVID-19 corruption cases, including concerns highlighted in the reports of the Auditor General.
. We also DEMAND that the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), immediately blacklists all the companies adversely mentioned in the KEMSA case and the special audit report by the Auditor General, and bars them from doing business with the Government until or unless they are cleared from any wrong/involvement in the matter.
· We also DEMAND that the Registrar of Companies publishes names of the Beneficial Owners of all the companies adversely mentioned in the KEMSA case and the Auditor General's special audit Report.
· We DEMAND that the government through the Office of the President directs the publication of the audit report on all COVID-19 expenditure as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-Kenya programme agreement.
Join us Transparency International Kenya, The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA),The Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS-Kenya(KELIN), Amnesty International Kenya , Inuka Kenya Ni Sisi and Okoa Uchumi Coalition to petition for action on the KEMSA COVID-19 procurement probe.