The EACC has completed its probe into the Ksh7.8 billion KEMSA Covid-19 procurement scandal.
In a written statement, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji confirmed the receipt, and announced the formation of a special team of senior experienced prosecutors to undertake a comprehensive review of the file.
1/The DPP has today received from the @EACCKenya the duplicate inquiry file on the irregular procurement and fraudulent payments in relation to the purchase and supply of #Covid19 emergency commodities @Kemsa_Kenya officials worth Kshs. 7.8 Billion. #HakiNaUsawa #TukomesheUfisadi pic.twitter.com/yxtSpNzy3I
— Office of The Director Of Public Prosecutions (@ODPP_KE) September 18, 2020
The prosecutors will then report their findings to Haji who will in turn, make a decision and inform the public on the progress of the matter within 14 days.
The anti-corruption commission highlighted that it had established criminal liability in the flawed COVID-19 emergency equipment procurement process.
The offences were linked to the failure to follow the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act as well as actions contrary to the Public Finance Management Act.
“EACC has recommended criminal charges against the concerned individuals for offences under the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act and the Public Finance Management Act and Penal Code,” the document read.
Haji’s team will use new guidelines launched on July 28 to make a decision on whether or not to charge the individuals whose names are on the report.
The decision to charge is one of the most important decisions that a prosecutor makes before taking the suspect to court.
The new criteria will advise state prosecutors on who, how, when, where and why to charge suspects.
Many cases have been bungled or thrown out by judges after prosecution blunders, but the new rules will help streamline the preparation of cases to build strong cases and secure a high conviction rate.
Reports and subsequent public outcry over alleged misappropriation of billions of taxpayer and donor funds have led to recent summons of the KEMSA board and top officials at the Ministry of health.
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache told the National Assembly a fortnight ago that KEMSA flouted the procedure by going on an overdrive spending spree despite capping their expenditure at Ksh.758 million.
Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on the other hand insisted that any loss of money was due to variations in prices of PPEs and not supply of air to KEMSA.
Financial abuse, graft and fraud have long plagued the country, hampering development, exacerbating inequality and suppressing economic potential.
However, the expected convictions based on the weight of allegations levelled against suspects mentioned in public domains have left alot of room for improvement.
Kenyans are often left wondering whether the recent surge in exposing corruption suspects marks a turn in the great war against corruption or just political theatre.