Why did you call me here? Kemsa boss angers Senators with rude responses

Don't give me that smirk

Why did you call me here? Kemsa Chairman Kembi Gitura angers Senators with rude responses

The Senate ad hoc committee on Covid 19 was on Friday involved in a heated session as it grilled officers from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) regarding irregular tenders popularly known as the Covid19 millionaires scandal.

The Kemsa team was led by board Chairman Kembi Gitura who also happens to have served in the Senate as Murang'a Senator and Deputy Speaker between 2013 and 2017.

The session, however, degenerated into a shouting match as Senators angrily complained about Gitura's attitude and what they regarded as rude responses to their questions.

An email from the board Chairman became the centre of the grilling session as it appeared to direct the Kemsa CEO to sign a contract with a company that had won a tender that was the subject of an investigation by the CEO.

Senators sought answers on why the board chairman wrote the email despite the fact that the board is not supposed to be involved to management issues.

"I don't know why the Senator is relying on leaked documents and leaked emails. If he had asked me to provide it I would have done so because I wrote it and I own it. Don't try to confuse Kenyans that I directed the CEO on a tender. That tender had already been won and if Kemsa did not sign the contract within the stipulated time, the consequences would have been dire, I directed the CEO to sign the contract to protect public money," Gitura said.

At one point, Kisumu Senator Fred Outa interrupted Gitura accusing him of having a vested iinterest in the tender.

"Honorable Chairman, I don't know if the standing orders of the Senate have changed but I have sat on that chair and you ought to protect me," the Kemsa CEO said.

"You are not here to lecture us, you had your time to be a Senator but this is your time. You have made billionaires and we want to know," Outa responded.

"Chair I came here to answer questions and you should let me answer, if I'm not going to be given a chance to answer, why did you call me here?" the visibly angered Kemsa Chairman stated.

"Don't take us as if we are foolish or stupid. We know what we are dealing with...When we ask you a question about direct procurement, please answer. This is a very emotive issue and don't give me that smirk," Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina hit back.

The session is currently ongoing at the Senate.

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