Suspended Kemsa boss Jonah Manjari on Thursday appeared to make a U-turn on his earlier claims that he was pressured during the procurement and payment of Covid19 supplies.
In an earlier statement when he appeared before the Senate Ad Hoc committee on Monday, Manjari had said he undertook emergency procurement procedures without the approval of the Kemsa board after receiving direct instructions from Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and his PS Susan Mochache.
“We were told to distribute PPEs to various Covid19 hot spots. I was under a lot of pressure even though we did not have them. The instructions came from PS Susan Mochache as well as from CS Mutahi Kagwe. There is also a brigadier who was in charge of the emergency response team, I don’t remember him.
“At one time, they came to our Kemsa warehouse and gave verbal instructions that we must supply certain items failure to which they would take over our warehouse,” Manjari said Monday.
But after CS Kagwe said Manjari should carry his own cross on Wednesday, the embattled KEMSA CEO on Thursday said he did not work under any pressure.
“We were not instructed to procure those items from those suppliers as has been alluded earlier,” he told the National Assembly Health Committee.
“AS CEO, I did not work under any pressure, I did these with my eyes open.”
Manjari added: “Under my watch, no money was lost and I did not oversee any loss of funds. All commodities supplied have been utilised and those not utilised are intact.”
He also defended questionable procurement at Kemsa, saying the State agency had to make a tough decision as there was a serious threat to frontline health workers in the country.
“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,” Manjari said.
“At the time, Kemsa had already passed the 2019/20 budget and by March 2020 when the pandemic was declared, there was no budget in Kemsa for Covid, so we rode on the assumption that being a pandemic we will be able to get funds from an emergency fund, donors and MoH and reserve at Kemsa.”