Doctors want Health CS Mutahi Kagwe jailed

KMPDU wants CS Kagwe locked up following court orders

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) is calling for the jailing of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe over contempt of court.

The doctors want CS Mutahi locked up for failing to obey orders halting the takeover of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) by the military and the national youth service.

The Union says Judge Ocharo Kebira gave conservatory orders restricting the military and National Youth Service (NYS) take over of the institution as well as the termination of employment for KMPDU staff.

The doctors want Kagwe jailed alongside the KEMSA board chairperson Mary Mwadime and the acting Chief Executive John Kiumi Kabuchi.

They further accused Health CS and KEMSA officials of continued disobedience of court orders.

KMPDU lawyer, Henry Kuarauka, said the officials mentioned in the court orders ought to be jailed.

“The said government officials ought to be cited and committed to jail for contempt of court orders issued on November 8, 2021 by Judge Kebira and extended by Lady Justice Maureen Onyango,” Kurauka said.

Kurauaka added that the decision to send home some doctors has been affected by the decision of the board to send them home despite promises to call them back.

On November 4, 2021 KEMSA Board Chair Mary Chao announced that all non-core employees had been asked to work from home as the agency went through its reforms.

The release of all staff to work from home is a procedural formality to facilitate the review of the organisational structure and will be undertaken expeditiously to ensure that the staff complement is fit for purpose and within the approved staff establishment levels,” she said in a press briefing.

A report by the task force appointed to investigate KEMSA’s shortcomings revealed challenges in critical functions within the Authority.

The challenges identified in the report confirmed that KEMSA was grossly underperforming and largely unable to meet its clients' urgent needs, particularly the delivery of essential medicines and products to the counties, referral hospitals, and programs.

The key challenges were listed as lack of financial controls, a supply chain crisis warehousing & distribution chaos, and a procurement chaos.

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