Revealed: Intrigues Behind Ruto Firing Former PS Josephine Mburu


Revealed: Intrigues Behind Ruto Firing Former PS Josephine MburuHealth Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, on Monday, May 15, detailed the intrigues behind President William Ruto firing former Public Health PS Josephine Mburu.

Hours after Mburu’s release, the CS indicated that Ruto consulted her as an advisor as the Head of State sought a solution to the unravelling Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) scandal on mosquito nets.

According to Nakumicha, whether the PS was involved in the matter was yet to be established, but Ruto’s demand for accountability informed her sacking.

Nakhumicha explained that Mburu’s mandate as the PS was to be the accounting officer for the ministry and was expected to have actively participated in the KEMSA tendering processes.

She noted that Mburu’s involvement in the scandal would be unravelled once the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) completed its investigations.

“I have been involved in the decision that has been made today. To the best of my knowledge, I have advised the President as his principal advisor.

“Specifically, I would not tell whether she was involved or not. Principal Secretaries are the accounting officers of the ministry. It is expected that in their day-to-day, they will interact with the institutions when it comes to such matters,” she stated.

On the other hand, the CS also maintained that the government was yet to establish the amount of money lost, given that the tender was yet to be awarded.

Notably, Ruto fired the PS a day after promising to take action over the scandal that could have seen Kenya blacklisted by key health donors, including Global Fund.

“I do not want to talk about it now. You will see the results. I want to give you my commitment that we will clean up KEMSA. Whatever it takes,” Ruto asserted during a round table interview with media houses on May 14.

Mburu took an oath of office on December 2, 2022, following her appointment by Ruto. She was the first PS to be fired and served 163 days.

KEMSA Scandal

Global Fund – the donor for the mosquito nets programme, in its audit, indicated that some ministry officials allegedly embezzled Ksh184 million out of the Ksh3.7 billion allocated.

A refund of the lost money was also demanded, with the donor issuing an ultimatum to officials involved in the scandal.

“The alleged maladministration on the part of KEMSA is with regard to the procurement of treated mosquito nets for those vulnerable households, which could have led to significant exposure to the disease and increase in its severity in the endemic regions,” Head of Public Service Felix Koskei stated during Mburu’s firing.

This was the second time the donor was demanding a refund.

In March 2023, in another audit, Global Fund revealed that Ksh40 million was misappropriated by health officials involved in an AIDS sensitisation program.

Global Fund is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with key contributors Billionaire Bill Gates and his former wife, Melinda Gates.




Revealed: Intrigues Behind Ruto Firing Former PS Josephine Mburu

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