The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion of ethical business practices in order to help combat corruption and bribery.
KEPSA’s statement comes amidst widespread public concern about alleged corruption in the healthcare supply chains involved in the supply of medicine and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
KEPSA is deeply disturbed by these allegations, which if proven will constitute one of the most heinous economic and health crimes against the people of Kenya, coming at a time when Kenyans are being asked to make enormous personal, financial and business sacrifices to combat the spread and impact of Covid-19. As an immediate first step, KEPSA has called on the government to undertake an urgent, independent and transparent audit of the use of all Covid funds raised, including those raised under the aegis of the KEPSA-supported COVID-19 Fund Board, to ensure those found culpable of misuse are brought to book. Separately, KEPSA has also appealed to its members in all sectors to undertake urgent and rigorous self-examinations in order to remove any weaknesses that allow malpractices leading to corruption. These self-examinations should include expelling from their memberships any companies or individuals found to be involved in the embezzlement of Covid funds.
For its part, KEPSA will continue the rollout of the code of ethics for business under the UN Global Compact. The organization is encouraging its business members organizations to not only sign but also adopt a self-regulatory framework for their members. KEPSA will also intensify training among its members on business ethics and integrity; and continue to push and support the digitization of government services as a key effort in reducing corruption as well as enhancing efficient service delivery to Kenyans. In addition, KEPSA continues to urge the government to make amendments to the Public Procurement and Disposal Act (PPDA) Regulations to include a stipulation that the government only does business with those companies that have signed the code of ethics for business, the mandatory online publishing of prices of goods that the government procures and also transparency. To assist the government in efforts to combat corruption, KEPSA has supplied a list of its current members whom it is encouraging to not only sign the business code of ethics, but to do self-regulation of their members and businesses.
Finally, KEPSA has stated emphatically that it remains proud of its involvement with the Covid-19 Fund Board, which so far has raised nearly Kshs. 3 billion from corporates, foundations, religious institutions, multinationals and Kenyans of good will to bolster the government’s war on the virus. The Covid-19 Fund Board is a completely separate entity from the government’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund and does not deal with the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA). All funds raised by the Covid-19 Fund board have been used to purchase PPE and masks. They are fully accountable.