The looted Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) is now broke and staring at a dead stock worth Sh6.34 billion that it can’t sell following the scandal in procurement of Covid-19 items.
Kemsa’s situation worsened after the rule compelling counties to buy medicine and medical equipment from it was removed, leaving it with unsold stock worth billions.
The agency’s request for more funding from the National Treasury was frozen by MPs.
“As we speak, we do not have a budget for other outbreaks of disease. There is no provision to spend on emergencies,” Edward Njoroge told the Public Investments Committee (PIC).
Njoroge who is the Chief Executive Officer at the troubled agency added that stocks remain high since counties were given a nod to procure outside Kemsa.
“There was no agreement between Kemsa and counties that they will buy Covid-19 items once we bought,” Mr Njoroge added.
Kemsa is currently stuck with Covid-19 stocks worth Sh6.34 billion that it bought at exaggerated prices with an aim of selling to the counties.
But the high court declared amendment of the national health laws illegal, squashing Kemsa’s exclusive right to supply medicine and medical equipment to the county governments.
A forensic audit conducted on the agency show that they will incur a loss of Sh2.33 billion if the products are to be sold at the current market price.
The cash crunch at the agency is worsening when the country is witnessing surging numbers of Covid-19 cases and there is increased need for reagents, testing kits and ventilators.
Kenya has so far recorded 64, 588 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 and fatalities have risen to 1, 154 from 769 in October 10.
Health officials have been warning of a serious second wave of the pandemic, similar to what is happening in Europe where several countries have imposed second lockdowns.