Members of Parliament in Kenya grilled the Acting CEO of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), Dr. Andrew Mulwa, on Wednesday, demanding an explanation for the Authority’s failure to settle Ksh16 million in outstanding payments owed to contractors and suppliers for work dating as far back as 2013.
During his appearance before the National Assembly Public Investments Committee on Social Services Administration and Agriculture, the Acting CEO defended KEMSA’s failure to make these payments.
He cited the lack of completion certificates from the Public Works Department, which are required to confirm that the contracted works have been finished, as the primary reason for withholding the funds. Dr. Mulwa also noted that the contractors and suppliers themselves had not come forward to claim the outstanding dues.
Committee member and Kenya Kwanza MP, Ferdianand Wanyonyi, raised concerns about why KEMSA had not reported these unclaimed funds to the Unclaimed Assets Authority and why the organization had not attempted to contact the contractors and suppliers who have been awaiting payment for over five years.
Maragua MP, Mary Wamaua, also sought clarification on whether the contracted projects had been carried out and if KEMSA had made any efforts to verify their status. She further pressed the CEO to disclose where the money had been deposited and whether it was earning interest.
In defense of KEMSA, the Finance Manager, Waiganjo Karanja, assured the Committee that the funds had not been misappropriated and that the contractors and suppliers would be paid in due course. He explained that the money was held in KEMSA’s operations account and earned interest, which was typically declared and used to supplement the Authority’s operational expenses.
“Chair, the money is kept in KEMSA operations account. It earns interest that is usually declared, and it supplements running of our operations,’’ Mr. Karanja said.
He pledged that, together with the Acting CEO, they would consider reaching out to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority if they were unable to locate the contractors and suppliers to whom the money was owed. He also revealed that KEMSA had not contacted the Public Works Department to verify the completion status of the projects.
Subscribe to Switch TV for more content.
Dr. Mulwa acknowledged the challenges in following up with the concerned contractors and suppliers but committed to taking up the matter and ensuring that they are paid in a timely manner.