Suspended Kemsa CEO Jonah Manjari has now changed tune on the procurement and awarding of tenders, saying he was not coerced into awarding them to specific companies.
While appearing before the National Assembly Committee today, Thursday, Manjari said he was not under any pressure nor instructions to procure items.
“We were not instructed to procure those items from those suppliers as has been alluded earlier. As CEO, I did not work under any pressure, I did these with my eyes open,” he said.
He added, “Under my watch, no money was lost and I did not oversee any loss of funds. All commodities supplied have been utilized and those not utilized are intact.”
According to Manjari, the procurement procedure that was followed was for the best interests of the country since the agency was forced to make a tough decision considering there was a serious threat to the health workers in the country who were the frontline soldiers.
“It is for the passion that I have for this health industry and health care workers, I really needed to protect them and not have a situation witnessed in other countries,” he told the lawmakers.
On August 21, 2020, Manjari was a no show for the Senate grilling as he claimed he had been admitted at KNH.
He was supposed to appear before the senate to explain the loss of billions of shillings allocated to the agency that are now said to be unaccounted for.
He presented a letter signed by a Dr Ngugi but the legislators ruled it out noting that it was not addressed to the senate.
Acting Kemsa CEO Edward Njoroge also presented a WhatsApp message indicating that Manjari was in the 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.
Manjari was suspended alongside Charles Juma (head of procurement) and Eliud Mureithi (commercial director) to allow EACC complete investigations into the loss of billions of shillings meant to cushion the country amid COVID-19 pandemic.