Civil society groups and MPs have asked Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to expedite the probe into Covid-19 funds scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency.
National Civil Society Congress coordinator Suba Churchill called on Kenyans and the international community to keep piling pressure on the EACC and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute all the culprits.
Churchill expressed fears that there are attempts to cover up the Sh1.7 billion scandal.
“Senior people in this government and businessmen who are well-connected were involved. The action by the Director of Public Prosecutions to return the files for the so-called further investigation was just a tactical way of abandoning the case,” Churchill told the Star.
He said if DPP Noordin Haji wanted to see the case investigated with speed as it was a matter of public interest, he would have given the EACC timelines to finalise the case files.
“Senior people in government are colluding to let off the hook. There is no seriousness on the part of government to peruse the suspect and that is why those involved are doing all they can to divert the attention of the country on this monumental scandal. Kenyans should keep pressing for action,” he said.
On October 2, Haji said his team of senior prosecutors finalised reviewing the files that had been forwarded to him by the EACC but they discovered the scope of the investigations was massive.
Haji said his team identified key areas that needed to be sufficiently covered through further investigations before a final decision can be made.
Two weeks later and EACC has not updated the country on the progress of the probe which President Uhuru Kenyatta had initially asked the investigative agencies to finish within 14 days.
On September 30, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu presented to the Senate Committee on Health and ad hoc Committee on Covid-19 a special audit report.
The special audit exposed massive irregularities pointing out that taxpayers lost Sh2.3 billion in the Covid-19 items procurement scandal at Kemsa.
Gathungu in the report said Kemsa violated various procurement laws leading to loss of public money and that there was collusion between its bosses and the companies that were awarded multi-billion shilling contracts.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi concurred noting that the Kemsa scandal is likely to suffer the fate the probe into the Ruaraka land scam faced. Senior government officials were implicated in school land graft scandal.
“As it has been the case in other several scandals in the Ministry of Health, this Kemsa one is heading in the same direction. The cartels in that ministry are so powerful and connected hence the manner in which this case is dragging on. Were it other people without connection, they would have been prosecuted long ago,” Nyoro told the Star.
Sudi called on the international donors to suspend any aid to Kenya until Kemsa graft suspects are arrested and prosecuted.
“There was a donation by Jack Ma which to date Directorate of Criminal Investigation has not told us where it went. It is unfortunate that such items were allegedly stolen at the time when Kenyans needed them the most.”
“Now we have a second wave of Covid-19 and Kenya would be looking up to international community for support. I want to tell them not to until the mess in the government is cleared,” Sudi said.