Finally, Parliament has determined that perpetrators of the corrupt deals at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) be seized, prosecuted and assets obtained from the proceeds of the scandal be confiscated and auctioned to recover lost cash. We concur. Further, we demand that decisive action be taken quickly to bring this matter to a logical end. Corruption must be fought ruthlessly and unceasingly.
The major frustration Kenyans face is that corruption cases are hardly resolved. It is depressing enough for the country to lose huge sums of money through graft but equally disheartening that the culprits are never arrested, prosecuted and punished for their nefarious deeds. In turn, this has entrenched a culture of impunity that is hurting the country.
Since the Kemsa scandal was unearthed, various agencies have conducted investigations to identify the offenders and convict them. However, little progress has been made. Those adversely mentioned in the scam continue to roam the country and occupy key public positions when their rightful place for them should be prison.
Investigations have established the magnitude of the rip-off and identified individuals involved. Top Kemsa officials, procurement firms and some wheeler-dealers plundered the corporation to the core. They should not be allowed to get off scot-free. Everybody is demanding their prosecution.
Given the circumstances, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) should take over the matter, use existing reports to conduct further investigations and, ultimately, prosecute the suspects and their collaborators.
The Kemsa scandal was outrageous as it was heartless. Cash meant to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic were swindled in the most brazen of deals. Billionaires were created out of a humanitarian crisis. To date, Kemsa continues to hold supplies it did not require but which were sourced purely to siphon out public money.
Drastic actions are required to deal with corrupt individuals while sealing loopholes that allow theft of public resources.