Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri maintains that no money was lost in the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) maize scandal even as he admitted that most of the 9 billion shillings set aside to buy maize from farmers benefitted traders.
Kiunjuri also tabled an audit report of maize depots that implicates 23 traders who supplied 1.6 million bags and pocketed over 1.5 billion shillings. The agriculture ministry is now expected to inspect all silos to verify the value of the 60 million bags of maize in their stocks.
National assembly’s agriculture committee invited agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to explain measures the ministry had instituted to contain corruption at national cereals board.
Kiunjuri told MPs that three regional managers of depots where NCPB officials colluded with unscrupulous traders to deny farmers a chance to sell their produce had been suspended pending investigations.
59 other officers from the cereals and produce board are also under investigation.
According to the cabinet secretary, unscrupulous NCPB officials circumvented guidelines and bought maize brought from neighboring countries.
The cabinet secretary also tabled an audit report of the controversial maize depots which implicated 23 traders who failed vetting despite supplying 1.6million bags of maize and earned 1.5 billion shillings.
Kiunjuri however assured genuine farmers yet to be paid, that will get their dues.
The Agriculture CS failed to name the prominent players allegedly behind the big suppliers mentioned in the report before the house committee, challenging the Director of Criminal Investigations and the ethics and anti-corruption commission to pick up the issue and unearth the people behind the supplies.