Outrage as firm of Chamber President Ngatia linked to sell of Jack Ma’s COVID-19 donations to Kenya

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Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia. PHOTO/COURTESY

By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN

A firm owned by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia, has been linked to the sale of COVID-19 donations by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

The firm, Megascope Healthcare (K) Ltd was among two appointed by KEMSA and authorized to clear the consignment from JKIA. The other firm was Crown Healthcare Limited.

While it has emerged that there are records to show that Megascope Healthcare (K) Ltd and Crown Healthcare Ltd received the kits donated by Jack Ma, there is no evidence that the donations were sold.

The link of Megascope Healthcare (K) Ltd to the sell of Jack Ma’s COVID-19 pandemic donations were broadcasted by NTV Investigates’s  an investigative report by NTV reporter Dennis Okari.

 

In March, Jack Ma said that his foundation would donate 20,000 coronavirus test kits, 100,000 masks, 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields to each of the 54 African countries among them Kenya.

Mr Jack Ma also pledged 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) towards the development of a vaccine in late January. And earlier in March, the billionaire donated a further $2.15 million to the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia, again with a view towards developing a vaccine.

Kenyans have resorted to social media to express their anger over reports that the Chinese billionaires donations to the country were looted by government officials and businessmen and a third of it sold to Tanzanian companies, while the rest was sold to local companies.

However, documents show that the goods said to have been sold in Tanzania were not sold but were part of Jack Ma’s donation to the neighbouring country but were delivered in Kenya before being transferred there.

It has also emerged that Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) is unable to account for at least Ksh43 billion meant for the fight against Covid-19, allegations that are yet to be verified.

The alleged looting was said not to be only been on public funds, but also donations meant to help in the fight against Covid-19. It is highly suspected that the same donations that were sold out were re-supplied to KEMSA, with the companies making double profits from the sales.

Kenya received foreign aid to help in the fight against Covid-19 which included Ksh78.3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ksh108 billion from the World Bank, Ksh22.5 billion from the African Development Bank.

Over Ksh200 billion was availed for the fight against Covid-19, but how it has been utilized has raised questions.

Questions have also been raised about a company called Kilig Limited linked to 30-year old lawyer Ivy Onyango which was awarded a Ksh4 billion tender months after registration.

It has emerged that the company was initially registered by Wilbroad Gatei Gachoka alongside a Chinese national Zhu Jinping, before details were changed to indicate that it was owned by Ivy.

Its post office address was P.O. Box 36814-00200 Nairobi, the same address used in another company belonging to Mr Gatei. While offloading the shares to the young advocate, Gatei also forgot to remove his Safaricom number in the contacts, according to a company search of August 3.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma. PHOTO/COURTESY

Wilbroad Gatei Gachoka is said to former the son of Ford Asili founder members Philip Gachoka who is a personal assistant to Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe. Mr Gatei was the chairman of KPCU until December 2019.

Ziwala Limited, a company owned by Ms Samantha Ngina Muthama and June Nduta Kinyua, received a tender to supply PPEs at inflated prices.

Other companies said to have benefited from the Covid-19 billions include Wallabis Ventures Limited, owned by Ms Catherine Wanjiku Ndungu and James Njenga Ndungu (Ksh90 million), Light Up Africa Limited, owned by Ms Emma Wanjiku Maina and Martha Wanjiru Thuku (Ksh25 million), Nanopay Limited owned by Mr Ahmed Rahim Mohamud Mohammed (Ksh35 million and Medlife Biologicals Limited (Ksh230 million).

Others include Bell Industries owned by Mr Titus Kirea Ibui and Mercy Karambu Ngeera (Ksh35 million), Abyssinia Group of Industries (AGI) (Ksh27 million), Accenture Kenya Limited (Ksh108 million) and Wanderjoy Party World Limited (catering).

Another company Shop ‘N’ Buy Limited registered on February 14, 2020 was awarded a Ksh970 million contract to supply 100,000 PPE kits, each at an approximate price of Ksh9,000. The company was also allowed to supply another 100,000 pieces of KN95 masks at Ksh700 a piece.

The company is owned by Mr James Kipketer Chululey, who has indicated that he broke no law.

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