Health

Kemsa names former board member as CEO

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Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) Embakasi warehouse, Nairobi on December 1, 2020. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • Kemsa chair Mary Chao Mwadime in a letter to the agency’s workers dated 19 May 2022 said Ms Ramadhani is expected to lead Kemsa reforms.
  • She replaces former CEO Jonah Manjari who was suspended last year after a multi-billion-shilling procurement scam.
  • John Kabuchi has been acting CEO at Kemsa since Mr Manjari’s suspension over the Covid-19 supplies scandal.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) board has appointed the agency’s former board member Terry Kiunge Ramadhani as the new chief executive effective immediately.

Kemsa chair Mary Chao Mwadime in a letter to the agency’s workers dated 19 May 2022 said Ms Ramadhani is expected to lead Kemsa reforms as she “has a clear knowledge of what ails Kemsa” being a former board member.

She replaces former CEO Jonah Manjari who was suspended last year after a multi-billion-shilling procurement scam.

“The board of Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) wishes to notify all staff of the appointment of Ms Terry Kiunge Ramadhani as the chief executive of Kemsa,” Ms Mwadime said in the letter seen by Business Daily.

John Kabuchi has been acting CEO at Kemsa since Mr Manjari’s suspension over the Covid-19 supplies scandal. Mr Manjari had replaced Fredrick Wanyonyi who has been serving at the State corporation in an acting capacity for over six months.

Ms Ramadhani, a veteran HR practitioner, quit her board role at the Kemsa earlier this year before her term expired.

She was part of a new team, appointed for a three-year term with effect from 30th April last year to implement sweeping reforms at the authority tasked with providing affordable and quality health products and medicines.

Ms Ramadhani will be expected to strengthen corporate governance at the agency. Kemsa, which is facing a reputational crisis, is undergoing restructuring in a bid to reform the agency and improve the accountability of its employees amid a string of scandals that have plagued the agency.

“Most recently before her resignation, Ms Terry served as a board member of Kemsa. Her experience spearheading the reform journey in Kemsa provided her with an indepth knowledge of what ails Kemsa and a clear vision of what needs to be fixed,” said Ms Mwadime.

“We warmly welcome (her) back to Kemsa and to this new role.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta overhauled the Kemsa board of directors on April 29, last year in the wake of multi-billion-shilling scandals plaguing the medical supplies agency.

Ms Mwadime took over from former board chairman Kembi Gitura, who was moved to the Communications Authority (CA) on March 17, 2021, in a similar capacity.

Kemsa has been battling to clean its image after being engulfed in fraud over the procurement of Covid-19 supplies in 2020.

EACC cited irregular expenditure of Sh7.8 billion following tenders reportedly given to politically connected individuals and businesses.

In March this year, the UN-backed Global Fund revealed fresh rot at Kemsa when it found that 908,000 mosquito nets, 1.1 million condoms and TB drugs valued at Sh10 million vanished from its warehouse.

Global Fund, which finances the fight against HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, has also raised the red flag over “phantom” suppliers demanding Sh1.66 billion from Kemsa.

Ms Ramadhani holds a Bachelor of Education from Kenyatta University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Liverpool.

“It is true I resigned from the board and for personal reasons," Ms Ramadhani told the Business Daily in March when reached for comment on her resignation from the Kemsa board.

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