Editor's Review

  • The entire KEMSA board was sent home on Thursday 29 April 2021, a few hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern over the agency while meeting Uhuru.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has dismissed claims that the ARVs standoff between the Kenyan government and USAID; an agency of the US government led to the recent firing of the entire KEMSA board.

Speaking on Friday while appearing before the Senate Health Committee, CS Kagwe noted that the decision to send the entire board home was neither influenced by USAID nor made under duress.

“The US did not influence the appointment of Mary [Chao] Mwadime as the chairperson of the KEMSA Board,” said Kagwe.

Appearing before the committee, Kagwe was questioned on the KEMSA restructuring as it came only a few hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who noted that the US government was concerned that KEMSA has a tainted image.

During the session, Kagwe noted that the US government is open to investigating corruption allegations at KEMSA, adding that the same should be done in close collaboration with local agencies.

“I welcome independent investigations by the United States into KEMSA’s alleged corruption. I have no problem, so long as the investigations fall within their jurisdiction, and the local investigative agencies made aware,” he said.

In a Gazette notice dated Thursday, April 29, 2021, CS Kagwe revoked the appointments of Timothy Mwololo Waema, Bibiana K. Njue, Joel Onsare Gesuka, and Dorothy Otieno from Kemsa.

Kagwe appointed Lawrence Wahome, Robert Nyarango, Terry Kiunge Ramadhani, Linton Nyaga Kinyua in their place. They will serve on the board for a three-year term.

The new appointments came after President Kenyatta appointed Mary Chao Mwadime as the new chairperson of the KEMSA Board.

The Head of State revoked the appointment of former Kirinyaga Senator James Kembi Gitura who he had earlier appointed to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK).