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Auditor general: Kenya to lose millions in Covid-19 response

Kenya’s auditor general says the country stands to lose $21 million in the procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies because the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency failed to follow procurement law.

General Nancy Gathangu on Wednesday presented to the Senate a special report describing how the supplies were purchased between Kenya’s first confirmed coronavirus case on March 13 and July 31.

The Senate requested the look into the agency’s procurement practices after public outcry over reports of pilfering.

The report says Kenya purchased overpriced materials and now, because of lower demand, the agency may not be able to sell the stock.

The report says the agency flouted the law while purchasing supplies worth $77 million, in part using money from the World Bank.

The report says the agency’s management bought goods without doing a needs assessment or budgetary allocation and awarded contracts to companies that were just months old. Even when guidelines were put in place for the procurement there is no evidence they were followed, it says.

Some 97% of the supplies purchased for COVID-19 were still in the agency’s warehouses as of Sept. 18 even though they were purchased as matter of urgency, the report says.

The agency didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Kenya had expected virus infections to peak in September, but government statistics show the number of new confirmed infections has been decreasing.

Anti-corruption activists say Kenya loses as much as 30% of its $27 billion annual budget to graft.

This article was published by AP via The New York Times.


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