The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has denied allegations that it perpetuated corruption in its mandate of distributing sanitizersto the public.
The claims were issued yesterday, March 20 during an exercise at the headquarters that was to distribute handsanitizers to select groups that were then to supply the citizens.
The exercise, which began at 2.00 p.m was marred with confusion at 7.15 p.m when members present stated that they was a lack of transparency in the process and that mney was changing hands as groups struggled to access the scarce commodity.
As per reports, those present received no communication from the production unit with further laments that the staff were hoarding the product.
Kenyans.co.ke spoke to a source at KEMRI who denied the accusations asserting that claims of corruption were misplaced.
“The claims are not accurate. We didn’t have any sanitizers at that time to supply to those present so we asked them to come back on Monday,” he stated adding,”It was difficult for those present in the room to understand what was happening which may have created the confusion.”
He clarifed that the root of the problem was the low supply of the commodity at the facility and not, as had been asserted, corruption that tainted the exercise.
“Yesterday, what they brought was little so we tried to distribute from 2.00 pm to 7.30 p.m . So for the remaining customers we told them that the supply for the day was done and aske that they return on Monday. Thatwas where the problem began,” he stated
As sanitizer becomes a coveted commodiy in the country, the state has put in place measures to address the biting shortage of handsaniizers in teh country.
One of these addressed the question of price hiking of the commodity by vendors looking to increase their profit margins.
A more recent directive by the President on Thursday March 19, however, addressed supply in a different way by ordering the release of confiscated ethanol to labs that could then manufacture sanitizers to be distributed free to the public.
The World Health Organisation has recommended the use of alcohol-based sanitisers to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is however important to note that soap and water has been lauded as preferable to sanitizers in the fight against Covid-19.
Hand sanitizers are only recommended in cases where the aforementioned are not available.