Details emerge on alleged fight between Kemri and Influenza Centre over Coronavirus funds

Arm-twisting Treasury by delaying test results

Details emerge on alleged fight between Kemri, Influenza Centre over Coronavirus funds

Details have emerged highlighting an alleged corporate war between Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and the National Influenza Centre over Coronavirus funds.

The two government institutions are battling for the lion's share of Sh6 billion which was donated by the World Back to assist in the fight against Covid-19.

Insiders told Nation that Kemri has been dragging its feet with testing in an attempt to swing the scales in its favour.

"We have the machines and the capacity and can do the tests as compared to others. Why is the interest shifting to the influenza centre, which has been lying idle for lack of funding, yet Kemri has for years been mandated to do research in the country?" an official from Kemri posed.

National Influenza Centre responds

Initially, the government was relying on the National Influenza Centre to test for Covid-19 but with a higher demand for testing, Kemri was brought on board to fast-track the process.

NIC officials have suggested that Kemri only joined the process for the funds involved.

"This is not about the mismanagement of funds. This is typically about the money that is yet to be released for Covid-19 testing," an NIC official stated insisting that Covid-19 falls squarely in their docket.

Insiders have also alleged that Virus Research Director Dr Joel Lutomiah was demoted by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe after he refused to cooperate with tenderpreneurs.

CS Kagwe, however, told Senate: "The circumstances under which he was transferred are known to the chief executive. This is politics, not management issues. I've never seen issues of management making it to the front pages."

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