Thursday, May 18, 2023 –Full list of 27 State employees suspended for their fraudulent release of condemned sugar in to the market has been made public.
President William Ruto, on Wednesday, May 17, suspended Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing Director, Bernard Njiraini and other State employees at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the National Police Service (NPS) among others.
Ruto’s Chief of Staff, Felix Koskei, accused the 27 State employees of releasing unfit sugar into the Kenyan market for consumption despite its poor state.
“In recognition of the unique mandate of the agencies as vanguards of public health and safety, it is manifest that some officers in the relevant agencies abdicated their responsibilities, at the risk of public harm.
“Consequently, it is noted that the Cabinet Secretaries for National Treasury and Economic Planning, and Investments, Trade and Industry, have sanctioned administrative action to suspend the officers pending investigations,” Koskei stated.
President Ruto was briefed on the grievous accusations of the irregular and criminal release of condemned sugar scheduled for conversion into industrial ethanol.
The sugar consignment comprising 20,000 bags (each 50kgs), had been imported into the country in the year 2018 and condemned by the KEBS.
A multi-agency unit comprising KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority NEMA was to oversee the ethanol conversion
“The condition precedent to the conversion were; involvement of all the concerned regulatory agencies; sourcing a distiller through an open and competitive tendering process; and securing the payment of applicable taxes and statutory fees.
“It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released. Further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid,” Koskei divulged.
In his orders, President Ruto directed the consignment to be reshipped and destroyed at the owner’s cost.
Those who suffered the wrath of the head of State in the scam include KBS officials Lt. Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, the Managing Director Dr. Geoffrey Muriira, Director Quality Assurance and Inspection Hilda Keror, Manager Inspection, Mombasa Port Office Liston Lagat, Assistant Manager, Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) Rono Birgen, Chief Manager, ICDN Nairobi Stephen Owuor, Principal Officer and Peter Olima Joseph – Inspector, Mombasa.
Others are in the KRA are Joseph Kaguru, Stephen Muiruri, Mwanja Masinde , Moses Okoth , Chacha Hondo, Doris Mutembei, and Carol Nyagechi Derick Kago.
In the National Police Service are George Mithamo and Joel Kirui while in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are Bernard Ngumbi and Raphael Mwaka
Additionally, in Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) are Oscar Kai, Patrick Magut, Joseph Maita Mweni (Port Health), Isacko Bonai (NEMA), Stephen Cheruiyot (Anti-Counterfeit Agency), Daniel Ngugi Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (KEPHIS), J. Willy Koskei Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), and K. Edwin Ruto Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Ruto’s move is coming against the backdrop of increased sugar process where a 2KG packet has since shot up to sh 430; which is sh 100 up.