Suspended Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) CEO Jonah Manjari was a no show at a senate grilling session on Friday.
Manjari was supposed to appear before the senate to explain the loss of billions of shillings allocated to the agency.
The sitting was chaired by Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbitho and nominated senator Sylvia Kasanga.
Also in attendance was Fred Outa (Kisumu), Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Beth Mugo (Nominated), Mary Seneta (Nominated) and Christopher Langat (Bomet), Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Abshiro Halakhe (Nominated) and Beatrice Kwamboka (Nominated).
Acting CEO Edward Njoroge was also invited for the sitting. He was accompanied by Director of Procurement Charles Juma and USAID’s Douglas Onyancha.
Mr Njoroge told the lawmakers that Manjari could not attend as he was receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital.
He presented a letter signed by a Dr Ngugi but the legislators ruled it out noting that it was not addressed to the senate.
Njoroge also presented a WhatsApp message indicating that the former Kemsa CEO was in hospital.
“Do you have evidence? Any documents submitted are supposed to be tabled. A WhatsApp message is abuse of Parliament procedures. We are dealing with lives and billions of shillings. Can we authenticate it?” the lawmakers posed.
Olekina on his part wondered why the letter was not addressed to the clerk as is norm.
Ongeri on the other hand questioned the date of admission, he said: “If there was a genuine admission, we would have received the letter from CEO. Letter should be delivered to the clerk, and produced as evidence. Let’s bear in mind the current situation and huge sums of money as well as lives involved.”
His sentiments were shared by Abshiro and Kwamboka.
Manjari was suspended by the board on Friday, last week.
He was suspended alongside Charles Juma (head of procurement) and Eliud Mureithi (commercial director) to allow EACC complete investigations into the matter.
According to KEMSA Board Chairman Kembi Gitura, the agency is committed to bringing back its lost glory. Operations Director Edward Njuguna will act in Capacity as the CEO while the EACC complete their investigations.
“There should be no reason to be alarmed on issues going on in the media and the public,” he said.