Kemsa to remain with a third of staff, declare 378 vacancies this week

kemsa pic

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

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) is set to declare its entire workforce redundant under a new organisational structure introduced in the wake of the Covid-19 kits purchase scandal.

The drug supplies agency is expected to advertise 378 jobs this week as it sets its eyes on taming its ballooning wage bill.

Kemsa chief executive Terry Ramadhani said the vacancies will be filled competitively, including by non-Kemsa workers.

“It is instructive to note that the new redefined roles and functions will be advertised next week (this week) and competitively filled to ensure compliance with the approved staff establishment level. Unsuccessful staff members impacted by the new structure will be declared redundant,” said Ms Ramadhani in a response to Business Daily queries Saturday.

“Consequently, no staff member has been declared redundant at this juncture. Redundancies will only apply once the advertised roles have been sufficiently filled.”

Kemsa had more than double its required staff size, underlining wastage at the State agency.

Approved number

The drug agency had 912 employees against an approved number of 341 in the year ended June 2020, according to a report submitted to lawmakers by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu.

Ms Gathungu says in her letter issued in May that no approval was provided to employ the extra 571 workers at the agency that was at the centre of corrupt dealings over the procurement of Covid-19 emergency equipment.

She further noted that five officers on secondment from the Ministry of Health have served the organisation for a period of more than six years contrary to the law.

The Public Service Commission's human resource policy states that the secondment of officers from the public service to other organisations is applicable to pensionable officers for a period of three years, renewable once.

It is this bloated workforce that has now pushed the drug agency to trim its workforce in a new structure that aims to bring down operations efficiency and reduced costs.

“Our jobs have been declared redundant and this means that we will start getting termination letters from next week. We are in shock,” said another source at the drugs agency.

Under the new terms, Kemsa will pay workers a minimum of 15 days on basic salary for each year worked.

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