‘It’s disgusting!’ CS Kagwe accuses doctors of using Dr. Mogusu’s death for union politics

‘It’s disgusting!’ CS Kagwe accuses doctors of using Dr. Mogusu’s death for union politics

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has accused officials of healthcare workers unions of politicizing the death of Dr. Stephen Mogusu, a 28-year-old doctor who succumbed to COVID-19 complications.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Citizen TV on Monday, the Health CS denied claims that Dr. Mogusu had not received his salary for a five-month period, saying it is “disgusting” for medical workers to use his demise for union politics.

He acknowledged that there had been a delay in disbursement of salaries for the medics but added that every healthcare worker has so far received their pay.

“When the unions were saying that the doctor (Mogusu) had not been paid, yes there was a delay in their payments, but we did pay them and we have paid them. The whole thing is very unfortunate and I feel for the family. I’m a Kenyan and I have children too who are in fact older than this doctor… When I see the complaints I understand but I can also separate the issue of genuine mourning and the issue of using the young man’s death for union political purposes. That I condemn. It’s disgusting,” said Kagwe.

He added: “It is in nobody’s interest to keep somebody’s salary. First and foremost it is wrong.”

The Health Cabinet Secretary further downplayed the corruption scandal at the Kenya Medical and Supplies Agency (KEMSA), saying it is in no way a blemish on his performance at the helm of the health docket.

He said there were no tendering irregularities at KEMSA, saying what happened was emergency procurement.

“Unfortunately, people don’t like to read, they like to talk… Under emergency procurement, for example when you are looking for reagents, whenever there is a serious emergency, you cannot wait to go through a tendering system,” said Kagwe.

The CS said the only irregularity at KEMSA was an attempt to procure goods without the knowledge of Afya House and the quantity of goods purchased, which he said surpassed the allocated budget.

“There was an attempt to try and procure goods at KEMSA without the knowledge of the Ministry of Health, which we stopped. No goods were procured under those rules. That’s an illegality. All payments at KEMSA for government procured goods comes through the Ministry of Health,” said Kagwe.

He, however, assured that the Health Ministry has since put in measures to ensure the tendering process is transparent and is being done through the IFMIS system.