KEMSA saga: DP Ruto fires back as Murathe admits Kilig director Gachoka is his business partner

KEMSA saga: DP Ruto fires back as Murathe admits Kilig director Gachoka is his business partner

Deputy President William Ruto has blasted Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe for dragging his name into the latest graft allegations at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

This comes after Murathe on Tuesday acknowledged that Willbroad Gatei Gachoka, one of the directors of Kilig Limited — a company at the centre of the scandal at KEMSA — is his longtime friend and business partner.

Murathe, however, maintained that he was not involved in anyway in the multi-billion shillings tender awarded to Kilig Limited for the supply of COVID-19 kits despite his close relations with Gachoka.

Speaking on Citizen TV’s New Night show, Murathe described his connection with Willbroad Gatei Gachoka alias William as follows: “We are consultants. We do a lot of consultancy services. We have consulted for various international companies. We are setting up a lot of businesses in the free and special economic zones and we also consult for construction companies in the country.”

“He (Gachoka) is my friend. He is my partner. I have known him since childhood. We are family friends since childhood. I partner with William on a lot of issues but i have not partnered with him on this one (KEMSA tender),” said Murathe.

The Jubilee Vice Chairman, however, roped Ruto into the saga, claiming that at the time the tender was being issued there was an attempt to transfer ownership of Kilig Limited to “known associates” of the DP.

“William Gachoka and his partner (Zhu Jinping) had transferred the shareholding of that company to known partners of Deputy President William Ruto and when they could not come through with the financing for the importation of the equipment it reverted back to the original partners through the lawyers,” Murathe alleged.

Murathe could not substantiate his claims but only stated: “We have the evidence. We have the transfers. If you want to find out go KCB and find out who are the account holders of Kilig Limited. You will find out they are known partners of the Deputy President William Ruto.”

DP Ruto has since rubbished Murathe’s claims, calling him out for claiming to be “consultants” with the director of Kilig Limited.

“The corruption “consultants”, brokers & conmen, some bankrupt in 2013, are now billionaires after looting while scapegoating William Samoei Ruto. Their overgrown IMPUNITY is shamelessly making them steal even from the sick in a pandemic. The END is nigh. NOWHERE TO HIDE. NO MORE SCAPEGOATING,” DP Ruto tweeted on Wednesday.

— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) September 2, 2020

Documents seen by Citizen Digital indicate that on April 19 KEMSA issued a commitment letter to Kilig Limited to supply the medical services agency with 450,000 personal protective kits.

This was to include N95 masks, body suits, goggles, water protective shoe covers and gloves.

Kilig was given 15 days within which to supply but the next day, KEMSA cited failure to deliver within the agreed timelines as reason for cancelling the commitment letter.

Two days later, the company appealed the cancellation indicating challenges in shipping and logistics arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such, Kilig provided KEMSA with new dates for the arrival of the emergency supplies with the deadline stated as July 22.

This prompted the suspended KEMSA CEO Jonah Manjari to issue a second commitment letter to Kilig Limited extending the delivery period for the supply of the PPE kits.

The company was then told that procurement process will commence thereafter.

But on June 30, KEMSA canceled the commitment letter for a second time citing budgetary constraints.

The mystery surrounding the shadowy commitment letters and subsequent cancellation has left officials shifting blame while Kilig remains with warehouses filled with KEMSA branded kits.