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Thursday, January 28, 2021 – A parliamentary committee investigating the irregular procurement deals at Kemsa was yesterday left in shock after a witness testified that he received a Ksh50 million tender through a single phone call. 

Crown Healthcare Services Managing Director, Shilen Thakerar, told the Public Investments Committee (PIC) that he received a call from Kemsa that was followed by an email after which he was informed he had won a Ksh50 million tender for the supply of gloves and ventilators.

This is yet another one of the numerous controversial tender deals that were awarded by Kemsa in what is infamously known as the Covid-19 billionaires’ scandal. 

However, the businessman clarified he did not make any effort to get the tender and that he was actually approached by Kemsa officials. 

“They called and then sent an email to confirm we had the items.”

“We never requested to supply them,” revealed Thakerar. 

The company was not able to explain why it supplied the equipment after receiving the local purchasing order two months later.

In the company’s’ defense he said, “to human is error and error is human, with a little bit of hindsight we can look back and say that there could have been a better way.”

He claimed that some of the committee members were ex-employees of the company. Abdulswamad Nassir, the committee chairman, pushed him to name them.

Thakerar testified that Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, who previously served in the National Assembly’s Health committee, was a former employee of the firm.

However, he added that they did not influence the awarding of the tender.

The committee is seeking answers as to how a number of companies were paid two weeks after securing tenders at Kemsa while others are yet to be paid.


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