The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority boss Dr Jonah Manjari has thrown caution to the wind, ignored President Uhuru’s Kenyatta austerity measures and proceeded to hire himself three personal secretaries.
This comes in the wake of Auditor General Edward Ouko revelations that KEMSA has blown the staffing cap by paying out a staggering Sh765.6 million salaries as at June 30, 2018.
In just under one year since his arrival, the CEO under the cover of Universal Health Coverage has recruited over 100 staff and although the new employees are not from his ethnic tribe, majority hail from Kiambu and Nakuru where he previously served.
As a display of his powers, conferred to him by some powerful and well connected political mandarins, the flaymboyant CEO, has gone ahead to provide a blue Passat, the one previously used by former CEOs to his Personal Assistant and long time friend Mr Francis Juma and a personal driver to chauffer him around. The two worked together in Kiambu.
His actions contravenes the Government rules which provides that if one gets a commuter allowance, then you cater for self transport.
Not even the Health Cabinet Secretary Ms Sicily Kariuki nor the Permanent Secretary Ms Susan Mohache have accorded their secretaries such luxuries, irrespective of the prestigious jobs they hold and work related pressure.
In his three PA’s line up, two are from Kiambu a Kikuyu man Mr Francis Juma and a Luo Lady – Marceline Awuor while the third PA, a lady Jackline Njoroge was inherited from the organization, merely to display inclusivity in front of the board of directors who are anyway too scared to question him and have therefore opted to turn a blind eye to his extravagant activities.
This money consuming activities and his reckless hiring sprees are likely to push up the wage bill beyond the worrying levels picked by the Auditor General. It is only hoped that Mr Ouko will remain vigilant to avoid his team of investigators from being compromised by Dr Manjari using his powerful connections.
As at June last year, the Authority had 759 employees against an approved staff establishment of 341 resulting in unapproved over employment of 418 officers.
Reports reaching the site Editor, is that in the last one and a half months interviews are being conducted almost daily at the KEMSA commercial street offices with the CEO insisting to seat in almost all interviews in order to influence outcome. Although some jobs are advertised in the website they are only to cover up the intended beneficiaries.
Just last week, the Board retreated at Crowne Plaza hotel in Nairobi to hold the interviews for Human Resource Director, Operations Director and Human Resource Director.
Despite the fact that he doesn’t have a say he insisted to stay on throughout the processes so that he could manipulate the weak board of directors decisions to his preferred candidate.
By the time of going to press, the Editor can authoritatively confirm that he was conducting interviews for Senior Procurements Officers and Truck Drivers. On Monday this week interviews for drivers were also being held.
One cannot ignore the fact that the Authority uses outsourced transporters to distribute it’s commodities and hence no need to over employ drivers, in any case the Authority already has more drivers than vehicles.
Secondly, as the CEO hires Senior Procurement Officers he has seconded some two top officers to the Ministry and the experienced ones found internally he doesn’t want to work with them.
Therefore, his purported plan to reduce the wage bill by transiting senior directors and managers from pensionable to contract is vindictful and motivated by greed.
The CEO’s game plan is to hire staff he can manipulate while getting rid of the senior management who refuse to be swayed to make wrong decisions through introduction of the five- year renewable once contract.
If he succeeds given that the KEMSA board is too scared to stamp their authority, his plot will be to frustrate this docile management lot, out of employment before his four-year tenure comes to an end.
He has been overhead bragging to all and sundry that he will be in KEMSA for 10 years and therefore people better sing to his tune. He insinuates that the CS though known for her no nonsense attitude has no powers to overule him given his political connections.
The extravagant CEO who upon his arrival immediately purchased a grey showroom Toyota Prado has even opted to use civilian number plates in order to camouflage his clandestine activities.
What is now worrying stakeholders is that since his arrival he is yet to steer his team to bring on another donor on board. The Authority’s funds continue to dwindle with donors merely being innocent spectators to a tournament where the die has already been cast.
The debt portfolio has continued to oscillate between Sh.2.7 b – Sh2.3 billion, as Dr Manjari is reluctant to go to the counties to collect debt.
On the contrary, he is renowned for globe trotting and has stepped the CS on the wrong foot many a times for wanting to frequently sneak out of the country unknown to her.
In his county trotting escapades, he is known for tagging along all his PAs as he seeks lucrative avenues for them to earn allowances.
The Authority’s staff, renowned for their discipline and commitment are scared stiff of the boss Dr Manjari who at the slightest annoyance has been known to transfer staff both senior and junior wherever his heart desires.
His bullying nature and high political connection has even deterred the CS from intervening as he is known to play dirty and always has a clever trick up his sleeve.
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