In the first year of the Kenya Kwanza government, President William Ruto’s administration has been rocked by multi-billion scandals that have tainted the State’s image.
In May, the Head of State was forced to act after an international donor cancelled a Ksh3.7 billion donation due to irregularities in procurement at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
Global Fund cancelled the tender to procure 10 million insecticide-treated nets after it emerged that KEMSA had awarded the contract to a company that did not have the capacity to deliver.
Swinging to action, the President fired Public Health and Professional Standards Principal Secretary Josephine Mburu as well as KEMSA Board Chairman Daniel Ronoh.
Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) facility in Nairobi on May 10, 2023.
KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Terry Ramadhan was also suspended during the cleanup exercise only to be appointed as the Deputy Envoy to India six months later.
One month down the line, President Ruto was forced to fire 27 government officials over another saga, this time involving contaminated sugar.
A statement from Head of Public Service Felix Koskei noted that a consignment of 50-kilogram 20,000 bags had found its way to the market despite being declared unfit for consumption by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
Among high-profile government officials who were fired following the scandal included KEBS Managing Director Bernard Njiraini and Director Quality Assurance and Inspection Geoffrey Muriira.
Additionally, high-ranking officials from the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and National Police Service were also given marching orders.
The country was yet treated to another multi-billion scandal in November when a self-proclaimed oil importer Ann Njeri Njoroge complained the State had confiscated her Ksh17 billion fuel consignment.
While the government through the Ministry of Energy stated that the fuel belonged to another oil marketer, Njeri alleged that senior officials from President William Ruto’s administration had conspired to steal the shipment.
The oil marketer in question never released.
A photo of oil tycoon Ann Njeri Njoroge posing for a photo outside the High Court in Mombasa on November 14, 2023.