900 Kemsa staff await fate after expiry of negotiations period

kemsa pic

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) warehouse in Embakasi, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Hundreds of workers at the troubled Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) will know if their positions will be declared redundant or not in the next few days following the expiry of the negotiation period with their employer on Monday.

Chief executive Terry Ramadhani told the Business Daily that since the general notice of redundancy, which was extended up to July 11 has lapsed, a formal communication on the fate of workers is yet to be made.

All the authority’s 900 employees had been given a month’s dismissal notice in June, which lapsed on July 6. Upon the expiry of the first notice, it was extended again to July 11. Workers were required to re-apply for their jobs and those who emerge successful were expected to know their fate in September.

“The formal negotiation period with workers has lapsed. They will know the next course of action the authority will take in the next few days,” said on Wednesday.

While extending the notice of redundancy from July 6 to July 11, Ms Ramadhani had promised to keep workers engaged in the whole redundancy exercise, an exercise that could see innocent junior staffers lose their jobs.

The looming staff layoffs at the drug agency have created tension among workers. Junior employees feel targeted for what they describe as “mistakes” that were committed by their seniors.

The sackings are part of a ‘clean-up’ after the Covid-19 scandal, where a few top officials are alleged to have aided the theft of billions of public funds.

The drug agency bought the Covid-19 emergency equipment at Sh6.3 billion in procurement the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission flagged as irregular and recommended charges against some officials.

The management, however, said the changes are not related to the Civd-19 scandal at the agency.

Kemsa had 912 staff against an approved number of 341 in the year ended June 2020, according to a report Auditor General Nancy Gathungu submitted to lawmakers.

Ms Gathungu in a recent report says no approval was provided to hire the extra 571 workers at the Stage agency.

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