Kenya: Health Ministry Owes Kemsa Sh1.5 Billion, Audit Report Reveals

24 August 2019

The Ministry of Health owes Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) Sh1.5 billion, Auditor General 2017/2018 report shows.

Out of the amount, Sh1.09 billion has been outstanding for more than two years.

However, an officer from the budget committee revealed to the Nation that the figure was never budgeted for in the last financial year.

The debt is for services that Kemsa has been rendering to the ministry including procurement of products, distribution and warehousing for products from donors including family planning commodities, condoms nutrition products.

SERVICES

"The services cannot stop, as the counties pick the commodities, more are brought on board and the cycle continues," says the officer.

The counties owe Kemsa Sh2.2 billion dating back to 2013.

He wondered why Kemsa CEO Dr Jonah Mwangi was not putting pressure on counties to pay their debts.

"If all the 47 counties owe them (Kemsa) Sh2.2 billion and one entity a huge amount of Sh1.5 billion which one should be more pressurised? Why are counties the ones being blamed?" he asked.

Nairobi County has the highest debt at Sh84.2 million, Kilifi Sh138 million followed by Kitui and Narok owing the authority Sh104 million while Nakuru's debt has accumulated to Sh96 million for drugs and other medical supplies.

Dr Mwangi, was however, reluctant to reveal the amount of money the Health ministry owes them. The official however gave the amount of money the counties owe Kemsa.

WRITE OFF DEBTS

"What I know is that the ministry pay as services are rendered, they procure, store and we distribute as more stock comes in," Dr Mwangi said.

He was, however, not willing to discuss the ministry with the media. He said he was in talks with the Health ministry and that the money would be settled.

"If you want to know how much the ministry owes us, kindly call them," said Dr Mwangi.

In a recent interview with the Nation, when asked about writing off the debts by counties Dr Mwangi said that all the monies must be paid.

"All the orders are committed in the IFMIS and they were serviced against issued LPOs, the PFM Act has no provision for writing off public debts by the authority, only Cabinet Secretary Treasury can write them off," he said.

Kemsa has in the past blacklisted counties who did not pay their debts in time.

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